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.
With the blink of any eye, we’re mindful that Birds in Art remains on view “only” through Sunday, November 29.
Don’t let time slip away this fall. Make plans to visit the Woodson Art Museum and Birds in Art . . . or make a virtual visit to our galleries through videos highlighted by artist-voices. You can revel in the artistry on view throughout the Woodson Art Museum’s galleries and grounds, and time can seem irrelevant.
I like the word “absurd” and mental images it conjures – ridiculous, silly, incongruous . . . like a duck on a bike. Birds in Art artist David Milton agrees. He chose his painting’s subject – the 1950s tin toy – at the start of the coronavirus quarantine as a metaphor for the absurdity of the situation we are experiencing.
Somehow, summer always seems to slip away before we know it. Only a few days remain to experience this summer’s exhibition, Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India, on view through August 30. Imagine pausing the passage of time, even for an afternoon. Who knows? Maybe visiting the Woodson Art Museum with others will help slow the slippage of sand through the hourglass of summer.
Organizations, especially relatively small ones like the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum that engender long tenures among staff, are a lot like families . . . and close-knit ones, at that. We don’t just work together, we get to know one another and we care deeply about one another.
It’s bittersweet, therefore, to share the news of administrative manager Shari Schroeder’s retirement at the end of September. While I am thrilled for Shari and her family – and know that Woodson Wanderings readers will be, too – I am experiencing more than a twinge of blueness when I think about the Woodson Art Museum without her. Shari represents a key piece of the puzzle that makes the Museum staff not only a productive whole, but also relevant in a multi-faceted and connected way.
The evergreen I recall from childhood extended to the heavens, and courage was measured by letting go while hanging from a limb eight feet above the ground. The creek meandered – burbling over rocks, exposing imaginary quicksand, nourishing buttercups, and refreshing various wildlife. Milkweed fed Monarch butterflies and provided endless fascination. The rock pile invited both creation and parent-sanctioned destruction.
It’s humbling and a tad shocking to think I have been at the Museum almost a quarter of the time it has been in existence.
Thirty-one years ago, I had the pleasure of phoning Maynard Reece to tell him the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum wished to honor him as the 1989 Master Wildlife Artist in tandem with that fall’s Birds in Art exhibition.
I don’t recall Maynard’s exact words, but I’m certain they were humble, sincere, warm, and filled with gratitude. His response was in keeping with his gentle personality, which along with his considerable talents and penchant for wildfowl and wildlife subjects served him very well.