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.
Collaborating as a team at the Woodson Art Museum is much like building a gingerbread house with my family. Colleagues work together, sharing stories of the past while working toward the future.
It was the light and atmosphere. I knew it. I’d experienced it. I missed it.
Know me for longer than two minutes and you’ll quickly learn that I once lived along the front range of the Rocky Mountains. The three years I spent in Colorado were some of the best of my life. Many Midwesterners flocked there at the time. My theory on the mass transplantation was that Wisconsinites appreciate the four seasons but prefer Colorado’s milder version of each.
For a daily mini-escape, I stream and watch past episodes of Antiques Roadshow – the U.K. version. In its forty-one seasons, the British show’s format is the same as the U.S. version. People bring objects, seeking an expert’s appraisal, a discussion of provenance or history of ownership, and estimated auction value. Participants vary, from treasure hunters trawling secondhand stores for the once-in-a-lifetime find to individuals inheriting an antique of which they know little or those with cherished memories.
Aware of the popularity and importance of Birds in Art, the Museum made the decision to reschedule the winter exhibitions, The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage & Spirituality and the concurrent Stormy Kromer: Evolution of a Classic, and extend Birds in Art into late February 2021. This potentially allows additional time for visitors to experience the 45th edition of Birds in Art, provided the pandemic allows a timely reopening.
Finding benign, lighthearted topics of conversation isn’t easy these days. There is much to talk about, but most is heavy and disheartening. I didn’t realize how much small talk – or at least the Midwestern variety – relies on shared experience or daily social interaction.
After years of deflecting the spotlight away from herself and, instead, toward the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, director Kathy Kelsey Foley is being ushered to center stage. Kathy is receiving the Association of Midwest Museum’s Distinguished Career Award for her significant contributions to the museum field.