by curator of education Catie Anderson
Woodson Art Museum staff members spend a lot of time telling the Museum’s “story.” The story may change depending on who’s telling it, what project or message is the focus, and, of course, who the audience comprises.
Curator of collections Jane Weinke tells how the Woodson came to house such a vast, yet refined, collection of work depicting art of the natural world. She talks about her dynamic exhibitions and never-ending work to research and showcase the artworks entrusted to the Museum.
As educators at the Woodson, Lisa Hoffman and I soak up and share an array of subjects and artworks featured through changing exhibitions whether through in-gallery interpretive materials, such as the activity guide and audio tour app, and through public programs such as Art Babies and SPARK!. We enjoy developing and overseeing the storytelling aspects of our positions, but I can confidently speak for both of us in saying we really enjoy hearing ideas and stories from others.
The goal of incorporating multiple voices and perspectives into our programming and educational tools is reflected in everything from our YouTube channel to our frequent guest artist residencies. By tapping into the experiences and expertise of our community and colleagues we’re able to cast our net wider and reach those who may not see themselves as museum regulars.
Interdisciplinary opportunities abound at the Woodson Art Museum, connecting subjects including art history, biology, color theory, and science through art of the natural world. I’m excited to watch ecologist Alan Haney at work later this week as he weaves a web of connections during his residency.
Attendees can look forward to a presentation on Haney’s recent book, Jewels of Nature: Delightful Birds I Have Known, which offers a collection of encounters with Wisconsin birds, a panel Friday evening alongside former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point colleagues Eric Anderson and Ray Reser, and two interactive family birding programs in the Birds in Art galleries on Saturday afternoon.
Alan Haney and I kicked off his residency by sharing the mic during Larry Meiller’s Wisconsin Public Radio show this morning. Haney took calls from Wisconsin backyard birders and Museum visitors who shared their own stories; what’s yours? We look forward to hearing from more of you in the coming days.