The Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination exhibition opens up a world of creative opportunity for students, leading to questions like “Can I combine a cantaloupe and a watermelon?” or “What about a strawberry and a cactus . . . a pineapple and zucchini?”
Drawn in first by our visual instincts, what ultimately unfolds before our eyes is a microcosm of the story of American art, a brief history of the twentieth century in America contained on the wooden block. The exhibition’s artworks – at once precise, kinetic, gentle, and bold – capture the prevalent trends of American woodblock makers during a period spanning from 1910 to 1992.
Typically during the summer months, I’m happily organizing exhibitions to install in all the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. Covid-19 prompted rethinking installations to increase safety and social distancing. This fall, the west gallery where visitors usually peruse selections from the permanent collection will instead provide expanded space for Birds in Art so visitors can safely enjoy the 128 artworks comprising the exhibition. My next exciting challenge is preparing for March 6, 2021 when all the Woodson Art Museum’s galleries will feature works from the collection.
During this busy four-day workweek, the Woodson Art Museum’s crack team of art handlers will take down, pack up, and ship the Walter Wick exhibition as well as lay out and install The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, which opens Saturday, June 4.
My focus, as curator of collections, is on those artworks comprising the permanent collection. I’m challenged to combine varied works into themed exhibitions. With thoughtful goals and discerning standards, our collection sets the standard for avian-and nature-themed art. The exhibition installations that will begin in early August will substantiate this claim.