The Wall(s)

By: Matt Foss on August 9th, 2017

For me, the best way to listen to music is on vinyl. Do not confuse me with the current generation of millennial hipsters who helped bring vinyl records back in vogue. As friends and family can attest, I was collecting and listening to vinyl before this current wave of popularity.

I have several favorites. One of them is Pink Floyd’s The Wall. A concept album from the British progressive rock group, the album highlights the story of Pink, a musician building a metaphorical wall between himself and society. From “In the Flesh?” to “Another Brick in the Wall, Parts 1 and 2,” “Mother,” “Hey You,” and “Comfortably Numb,” the album remains one of the most famous in history.

Speaking of walls (nice segue, huh?), here at the Woodson Art Museum, I recently was in charge of making sure the refurbishing of a couple of walls in the Museum’s temporary exhibition galleries went smoothly. Museum staff decided the gray fabric adorning the temporary exhibition walls of yore needed to go. Now, just like the other galleries, the walls feature paintable Medium Density Overlay plywood, which is sturdy, and maintains a clean, sleek aesthetic. The Museum’s design-build partner The Samuels Group and local painting contractor Northern Renovations recently completed the work.

Last Thursday, over 300 community members came to the Museum to celebrate the Woodson’s winning of the Institute of Museum and Library Service 2017 National Medal. When the rain necessitated an indoor gathering, visitors enjoyed a sneak preview of the new, updated gallery walls. While the galleries will remain closed until Birds in Art opens to the public on Saturday, September 9, if the reaction to the first showing of the updated galleries are any indication, the work completed will be a major hit with visitors and Birds in Art artists.

Although walls may not seem as crucial as the artwork they support, an attractive and reliable backdrop ensures enjoyment of the artwork. Museum staff know that proper display of the artwork is critical for a good exhibition. You have to have good walls before you can display good artwork. To put it as Pink Floyd did: “if you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.”

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