Public encouraged to share stories of institution’s excellence in programs and services on IMLS Facebook Page
WAUSAU, WISCONSIN (February 23, 2016) – The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, is among the 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
“The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We proudly recognize these museums and libraries for their invaluable work to provide citizens with educational resources, 21st century skills, and opportunities for lifelong learning. As key stewards of our nation’s future, we salute the 30 finalists for their excellence in engaging our citizenry and expanding learning of all kinds.”
Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the Woodson Art Museum to share their stories on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story and learn more about how these institutions make an impact, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS.
The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.
Woodson Art Museum director Kathy Kelsey Foley credited the community’s enthusiasm for embracing the full range of engagement opportunities and propelling staff to continually raise the bar. “The pride I feel on behalf of the Museum is enormous,” she said. “We have realized our founders’ vision to make the visual arts accessible to all. The announcement of the Woodson Art Museum’s finalist status is reason to celebrate.”
With a mission to “to enhance lives through art” and its commitment to always-free admission, the Woodson Art Museum seeks to provide visitors with quality art experiences through its permanent collection, changing exhibitions, and related programming.
The inaugural exhibition that launched the fledgling museum in 1976 took flight and soared, becoming the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s flagship and internationally renowned “Birds in Art” exhibition presented each fall. “Birds in Art” provides a focus for the museum’s collection – art of the natural world – one that synergistically complements Wisconsin’s beauty and appeals to visitors’ and residents’ interests. Five Master Artists, interviewed during 2015 Birds in Art opening weekend festivities last fall, discuss the Woodson Art Museum and Birds in Art in this video: http://bit.ly/1LE6fiG
Multiple changing exhibition themes each year, from upcycled couture and iconic guitars to origami and Tiffany glass, are opportunities to develop themed programs for all that build on collaborations with regional Wisconsin partners such as fashion-design students and area guitar makers, performers, and collectors. “Birds in Art” provides an annual opportunity to expand and deepen avian- and ecological-related partnerships.
Staff consistently push to remain at the leading edge of developing programs that span the age and life-stage spectrum – from Art Babies, launched in 2009 for little ones and accompanying adults, to SPARK!, created in 2010 for individuals with early- to mid-stage memory loss and their loved ones or care partners. Art Beyond Sight, implemented in 2006, provides multisensory ways for individuals with blindness or low vision to experience the visual arts. As the regional community’s hub for arts engagement, Woodson Art Museum staff and volunteers continually strive to provide the best possible cultural resources, accessible and welcoming to all.
“The Woodson Art Museum is committed to providing barrier-free access to the diverse populations who experience exhibitions and interact with its expansive programming,” said Linda Haney, the Woodson Art Museum member and volunteer who nominated the Museum for the National Medal. “It is always free. That bedrock promise means that everyone can take advantage of its high-quality permanent collection, changing exhibitions that appeal to broad interests, artist residencies, workshops, and the world-renowned ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition. Truly, I am proud of the Woodson Art Museum.”
The 2016 finalists of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:
- Chicago History Museum (Chicago, Illinois)
- Children’s Museum Tucson (Tucson, Arizona)
- Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, South Carolina)
- Dallas Holocaust Museum (Dallas, Texas)
- The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, Massachusetts)
- Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg, Massachusetts)
- Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Imagination Station / Toledo Science Center (Toledo, Ohio)
- Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (Wausau, Wisconsin)
- Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children (Gulfport, Mississippi)
- Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
- Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center / Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (Santa Cruz, California)
- Nantucket Historical Association/ Whaling Museum of the Nantucket Historical Association (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
- Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum (Exeter, Rhode Island)
- Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, New York)
- Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, New York)
- Central Washington University James E. Brooks Library (Ellensburg, Washington)
- Dallas Public Library (Dallas, Texas)
- Haines Borough Public Library (Haines, Alaska)
- Illinois Fire Service Institute Library (Champaign, Illinois)
- Juneau Public Libraries (Juneau, Alaska)
- Kitsap Regional Library (Bremerton, Washington)
- Longmont Public Library (Longmont, Colorado)
- Madison Public Library (Madison, Wisconsin)
- North Carolina State University Libraries (Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Otis Library (Norwich, Connecticut)
- Richland County Public Library (Columbia, South Carolina)
- San Mateo County Library (San Mateo, California)
- Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, California)
- Terrebonne Parish Library System (Houma, Louisiana)
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, is known for its internationally acclaimed Birds in Art exhibition presented each fall. Diverse exhibitions feature artwork from around the world, and enriching programs and events for all ages enliven exhibition themes. Committed to always-free admission, the Museum provides access to quality art experiences accessible to all. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau. Check out this video to hear Master Artists’ comments about Birds in Art.
Each fall, artists and visitors flock to the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, for Birds in Art, the Museum’s flagship and internationally renowned exhibition that has taken flight and soared throughout 40 years. Visitors also bask in beautiful art of the natural world from the Museum’s collection. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau. Check out this video to hear Master Artists’ comments about Birds in Art.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, is among the 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
Dynamic Woodson Art Museum artist residencies, offered since 1999, involve and engage students and adults in hands-on learning. Visiting artists offer insights on diverse mediums through site-specific installations and demonstrations as varied as printing oversized woodcuts with a steamroller, an upcycled couture fashion show, bentwood furniture making using a steam box, and artist George Bumann sculpting in clay. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau.
More than 700 young schoolchildren were invited to gently touch tactile sculpture during class visits to the Woodson Art Museum in December and experienced new ways to see artwork. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau.
Woodson Art Museum volunteers guide school groups through galleries featuring changing exhibitions, artwork from the collection, and the sculpture garden. Docents facilitate thoughtful dialogue through hands-on materials, storytelling, and interactive questions, and Museum educators and visiting artists lead hands-on art making. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau
All Woodson Art Museum visitors recently discovered new ways to “look” at art through touch during Ann Cunningham’s exhibition of tactile sculpture. Ann also worked with participants in Art Beyond Sight, a Woodson Art Museum program since 2006 that offers multisensory ways for individuals with blindness or low vision to experience the visual arts. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau.
SPARK!, offered at the Woodson Art Museum since 2010, provides individuals with memory loss and an accompanying care partner monthly opportunities to engage in art experiences that include interactions in the galleries and hands-on art activities. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau.
Elsewhere, snow is shoveled, thrown, and blown; at the Woodson Art Museum, it becomes ephemeral art. Each winter since 1990, Team USA has created snow sculpture at the Museum to complement exhibitions. Mike Martino, Tom Queoff, and Mike Sponholtz have demonstrated their competitive skills around the globe, winning a bronze medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and building a loyal fan base in Wausau, Wisconsin. Photo by Richard Wunsch, Wausau.
Woodson Art Museum
First Thurs each month 9am–7:30pm
Thurs during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas
Admission: Always Free Admission
Location: Franklin and 12th Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. Twelfth Street)