This winter, I’ve welcomed opportunities to work with visitors in the galleries, from Art Cluster students to a first-year class from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Central Wisconsin campus. No matter the group, I always enjoy conversing about art on view and learning what appeals to different audiences.
Coworkers Catie, Elaina, Dave, and Shannon head out for a Woodson Art Museum Sculpture Garden nature sketch session and to test out a new product for a pilot drop-in program at the Museum.
Yet another appreciative message is buoying staff spirits: a hand-painted card of thanks to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum for providing Art Kits to encourage artistic pursuits.
As we turned the calendar page to 2021, “hope” for the year ahead is a shared theme. Heartfelt evidence came to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum staff via the U.S. Postal Service in the latter days of December from an Aspirus Wausau Hospital nurse. For the past seven months, in lieu of hands-on art-making activities, Museum staff have lovingly and creatively designed and produced Art Kits to complement artworks on view and encourage busy hands and artistic pursuits.
The Woodson Art Museum has a new addition to its campus perched along North 12th Street. You might think it’s a birdhouse; it’s not, yet it does have roosts and portals to peek through and discover surprises inside. Although not a library, it does contain books ready for you to read or ideas to inspire a new creation. It’s the Stop-by Studio, filled with free Art Kits and books for all to keep or share.
Taking inventory of available art materials proved to be a quarantine-friendly activity for me working solo in education storage, counting supplies, and developing project ideas for summer art kits. Museum collection artwork images, printed with information and prompts on “kids club cards” were the source of inspiration for the five art kits.