The opening of Birds in Art, although missing artists, guests, and events of previous years, was a comfort. It is a delight to walk through the galleries and appreciate the beautifully displayed artworks created by amazingly talented artists. Even though artists were not physically at the Museum, shared emails, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts helped serve as substitutes. Happily, four artists and families did visit, which was a highlight of the subdued opening.
This blog post previews one example of the inventive teamwork behind this fall’s visually focused Art Park installation, as the typical hands-on, interactive stations and art projects familiar to visitors aren’t possible during the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
It’s not a secret; I love working at the Woodson Art Museum. What’s not to love? Each day I’m with fabulous colleagues, in a beautiful facility, surrounded by stunning artworks. Working with the Museum’s collection of thousands of historic and contemporary paintings, works on paper, and sculpture throughout forty years, I’ve curated more than 100 exhibitions.
Where do I get the themes and how do I choose the artworks? That’s the challenge and joy. Rather than a recipe, it’s more like a jig-saw puzzle. The exhibition idea “picture” is there; getting the pieces in the right place is the goal.
Whether a planned project or a chance encounter, saving birds is always worthwhile.
Behind the Woodson Art Museum’s app content, Catie is at the computer, turning audio into video. While the Woodson’s YouTube videos and audio-tour app are crafted to offer visitors – both onsite and remote – insights into artworks on view, the creation of the videos themselves presents an educational opportunity all its own.
My heart cracked a bit last week after reading Wisconsin Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order effective through April 24. I hope Covid-19 is controlled soon.
As for so many others, my routine is no longer, well, routine. I’m all about the comfort of sameness and control, yet that is gone. I know it’s for the best, but the uncertainty is testing me and all of us.
So, what can I share via this blog? The Woodson Art Museum is closed, staff are working from home, and the galleries are filled with dozens of beautiful artworks with stories to tell. Yet the joy of viewing them is available only online now.
Throughout three origami exhibitions that concluded March 1, the Woodson Art Museum welcomed more than 1,100 students during class visits. Before closing – or folding – the book on origami and turning to upcoming exhibitions being installed this week., I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the Museum’s volunteer docents who guided students during the past twelve weeks.
Fifteen years ago, at a long-range planning meeting, I set a goal to offer access to selections from the permanent collection on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s website. Funny thing about goals; they can be elusive.
I’m happy to share this link that provides access to more than 700 artworks from the Woodson Art Museum’s collection. As promised, this is just the beginning. I’m now working on adding a few hundred works soon. Look out team, we’ve just begun.
The Perfect Situation is the title of a graphite drawing by Sue deLearie Adair that’s among recent acquisitions by the Woodson Art Museum and also encompasses the opening earlier this month of the 2019 Birds in Art exhibition.
After months of work, hundreds of emails and phone calls, numerous Google searches, the production of a 134-page catalogue, artworks arriving from a dozen countries, and ultimately the installation in the galleries of 127 beautiful paintings, graphics, and sculptures, the Museum shares the exhibition with the public.