Tim’s Time at the Woodson

By: Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions on April 7th, 2010

The Museum recently said goodbye to Tim Oelke, who joined the Museum in July on a temporary basis through the Summer Youth Employment Program of the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. Funding for this training program was made possible by the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Tim took on a variety of assignments, under the direction of Museum facilities manager, Joe Ruelle. Tim helped with landscaping and other outside duties, the set up and tear down of the stage for each summer concert, and preparations for OctoBIRDfest.

As the weather got colder, Tim moved indoors and Joe learned that Tim was handy in the workshop. After graduating from DC Everest High School, Tim enrolled at NTC and completed their Residential Building Systems Program.

With the skills learned at NTC, Tim was well suited to take on and help with wood-working projects, including two Art Park interactives for the Norman Rockwell exhibition. He constructed a miniature soda fountain that was a BIG HIT with toddlers, and a second interactive based on Norman Rockwell’s self portrait, swapping out the artist’s canvas for a pad of paper to allow visitors to sketch themselves by viewing their image in a mirror.

Tim also helped construct book shelves in one of the permanent collection vaults and storage racks in another. He assisted in revamping the Museum’s workshop, bringing a dust collection unit online so that each power tool in the shop is now vented.

The last project that Tim took on was an interactive puppet theater à la Snoopy’s Dog House to complement our summer exhibition Peanuts at Bat.

To send Tim off in style, we held a reception in his honor in the storage room off the workshop with plenty of treats to go around.

How fortunate we were to find Tim, who not only complemented the staff, but also contributed significantly to many projects. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.

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