Wonders Await in 2017 at Woodson Art Museum

By: Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on February 23rd

Wausau, Wisconsin: The internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition in the fall, art of the natural world year-round, and changing exhibitions as varied as M.C. Escher, Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, and Wild Fabrications will be featured during 2017 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, always admission free.

 This year’s Birds in Art exhibition, which opens each fall on the weekend after Labor Day, will feature avian art – all-new interpretations in original paintings, sculptures, and graphics – sure to inspire in endless ways.

The inaugural exhibition that helped launch the Museum’s opening in 1976 developed to become the Woodson Art Museum’s flagship and internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition. Visitors can experience nature’s beauty year round in the galleries featuring exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s collection and throughout the sculpture garden and grounds because the Woodson Art Museum’s historic and contemporary collection sets a world standard for avian- and nature-themed art. For example, Audubon to Wyeth: Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures from the Collection, on view through May 21, showcases impressively significant artwork acquired by the Museum in recent years.

As the only full-service art museum in northern Wisconsin, the Woodson Art Museum offers a myriad of community engagement opportunities and maintains its more than four-decade commitment to always-free admission. The Woodson Art Museum provides visitors with barrier-free access to a vast array of visual-arts experiences including via ever-changing artwork in the galleries, the sculpture garden, and Art Park – the Museum’s interactive family gallery, visiting artists’ presentations and workshops, hands-on art making, and programs for all ages and life stages – from babies, children, and families to students during class visits and teens and adults.

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum was one of only seven art museums to be named a 2016 National Medal finalist by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency supporting the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The Woodson Art Museum also was the 2016 winner of the Wisconsin Governor’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage tourism award.

Themes from ever-changing exhibitions are woven throughout programs that span the age and life-stage spectrum – from Art Babies, launched in 2009 for little ones and accompanying adults, to SPARK!, created in 2010 for individuals with early- to mid-stage memory loss and their loved ones or care partners. Art Beyond Sight, implemented in 2006, provides multisensory ways for individuals with blindness or low vision to experience the visual arts.

With its mission is “to enhance lives through art,” the Woodson Art Museum staff continually strives to provide audiences with quality, barrier-free art experiences through these and other programs that enliven and amplify themes from temporary changing exhibitions and Museum collection exhibitions.

Temporary Exhibitions

March 4 – May 28, 2017

M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion

The most iconic works by Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972), including a pair of hands drawing themselves and fish morphing into birds, are familiar to many. This exhibition of 120 woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints, and drawings delves deeper into both the literal and impossible worlds Escher created over a career spanning five decades. Drawn from a large private collection of M.C. Escher’s work, Reality and Illusion includes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, detailed Italian landscapes, the tessellations for which he became famous, and examples of his signature architectural fantasies in which stairways seem to go both up and down. M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion is from the collection of Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece, www.herakleidon-art.gr Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion  to see low-resolution versions of artwork images. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; full caption/exhibition credit line must be included with any Escher image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

March 4 – May 28, 2017

Illustrating Illusions: Drawings by Robin Lauersdorf

Whimsical, yet meticulous, graphite pencil drawings by Wisconsin artist Robin Lauersdorf, long interested in Escher’s work, are featured in an exhibition organized by Woodson Art Museum curator of exhibitions, Andy McGivern. Lauersdorf playfully juxtaposes reality and imagination and manipulates perspective. In an artwork of a fly fisherman, for example, goldfish crackers seem to jump from a bowl into a stream. Sixteen detailed drawings that Lauersdorf created throughout nineteen years – often spending months on a single one –were selected to illuminate Escher’s influence for this exhibition that coincides with M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion, on view March 4 through May 28, 2017. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Illustrating Illusions: Drawings by Robin Lauersdorf  to see low-resolution versions of artwork images. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; caption/exhibition credit line must be included with any image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

June 3 – August 27, 2017

Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

Innovative and bold sculptural forms by more than forty contemporary Japanese ceramists, inspired by the natural world, depict mountains, waterfalls, ocean shores, and bamboo groves. More than sixty ceramic works – from exquisite flower vases and serene tea bowls to whimsical sake cups and robust platters – reveal the earthly beauty of Japanese ceramics. Accompanying photographs by Taijiro Ito highlight the poetic connection of the ceramic objects to nature. The featured ceramists are closely associated with many of Japan’s traditional pottery centers and are supporters of the mingei movement, in which objects of unsurpassed beauty are made for everyday use. The exhibition was developed by Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California, from the collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics to see low-resolution versions of images. Upon request, hi-res images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

September 9 – November 26, 2017

Birds in Art 2017

The source of limitless creative inspiration, birds connect us to the rhythms of life. Their migrations mark the shifting seasons, their music heralds each dawn, and their shoreline searches highlight the ebb and flow of the tide. Avian art resonates and inspires in endlessly novel ways, too. Talented artists from throughout the world push standards ever higher by continually striving to be among those selected for the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition. The 42nd annual exhibition features new interpretations in original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years. Opening day, Saturday, September 9, part of Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend, provides varied opportunities to interact with more than sixty Birds in Art artists visiting from throughout the world. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies Birds in Art and will be available in September. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery 2016 Birds in Art to see low-resolution versions of images that are examples of the 2016 exhibition artwork. Artwork for the 2017 Birds in Art exhibition will be selected in May; images will be available in the summer. High-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives upon request; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

December 2, 2017 – February 25, 2018

Wild Fabrications

Think about a favorite quilt. Warm thoughts of comfort and the loved ones who stitched and labored to sew treasured family heirlooms are all wrapped up in our favorite quilts. What’s a common thread of their appeal? Quilters and fiber arts enthusiasts share a desire to hone the skills necessary to carry on a tradition that links generations and an appreciation of the creativity and ingenuity woven throughout extraordinary quilts. Wild Fabrications comprises more than three dozen vibrant quilts featuring intriguing, whimsical depictions of animals and organized by the Studio Art Quilt Associates in Hebron, Connecticut. Throughout the twelve-week Wild Fabrications exhibition, the Museum will offer multiple programs and an artist residency on January 19 and 20, 2018 featuring renowned quilter and television personality Mary Fons, discussing her work and the role of the quilt in American popular culture. The co-host of Public Broadcasting Service’s long-running show “Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting,” Mary Fons is well known as a passionate, vibrant speaker on the subject of quilts. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Wild Fabrications to see low-resolution versions of images of artwork. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

Art of the Natural World on View Year Round in the Museum’s Collection Exhibitions

Audubon to Wyeth: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculptures – on view through May 21, 2017

This dazzling, historic array of bird imagery in artworks spanning the early-nineteenth through late-twentieth centuries includes work by John James Audubon, Martin Johnson Heade, Jasper Cropsey, Albert Bierstadt, Frank W. Benson, N.C. Wyeth, and Andrew Wyeth. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Audubon to Wyeth: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculptures to see low-resolution versions of images. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; caption/exhibition credit line must be included with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

Enduring Beauty: Art Nouveau Glass – on view through July 30, 2017.

American art glass was greatly influenced by the tenets of Art Nouveau. Between 1890-1910, artists eschewed the elaborate Victorian decoration and repetitious designs of the industrial revolution. Instead, favoring form following function, they used sinuous asymmetrical lines, floral- and plant-inspired decorations, and deep vibrant colors highlighted with metallic iridescence – favrile. Louis Comfort Tiffany, Emil Galle, the Daum Brothers, and others pushed the boundaries, creating beautiful decorative and utilitarian glassware for all to use and enjoy. Enduring Beauty is a survey of works from the collection produced during this nature-inspired era. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Enduring Beauty: Art Nouveau Glass to see low-resolution versions of images. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; caption/exhibition credit line must be included with any corresponding image used.If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

Black & White: Andrea Rich – on view February 25 through July 30, 2017

A selection of Birds in Art Master Artist Andrea Rich’s woodcuts – printed only with black ink and utilizing only one woodblock – complements M.C. Escher’s black-and-white artworks in M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion, on view March 4 through May 28, 2017. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Black & White: Andrea Rich to see low-resolution versions of images of artwork. Upon request, high-resolution images to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

Passionate Pursuits: Birds in Our Landscapes – on view April 8, 2017 through February 25. 2018

In tandem with the return of spring, Passionate Pursuits: Birds in Our Landscapes, opening April 8, will focus on the avian marvels that live in and pass through Midwest cities, rural landscapes, and our backyard feeders. Whether perched atop a tree, taking a turn at the nest, or foraging for food, birds connect us with nature and provide unlimited inspiration for creative artistry. Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery Passionate Pursuits: Birds in Our Landscapes to see low-resolution versions of images. Upon request, high-resolution images of artwork to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

On View in the Sculpture Garden & Grounds

The Museum’s grounds feature sculptures that delight visitors of all ages. From Deborah Butterfield’s Kua to Burt Brent’s The Heavyweight, a range of artistic styles and wonders of the natural world can be found. Another highlight is Kent Ullberg’s striking bronze whooping cranes that stand as iconic sentinels at the garden’s entrance. Experience sculpture by following handicapped-accessible pathways throughout the sculpture garden, near the pond area, and to the Secret Garden. Upon request, high-resolution images of artwork to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

The Dance by The Myth Makers

On the Grounds

Site-specific sculpture created June 21-25, 2016

A nearly thirty-foot-tall sculpture of a sandhill crane pair made from Wausau-area saplings, The Dance was created by Boston artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, known as The Myth Makers, as a site-specific sculpture from ephemeral materials. Inspired by the way the seasonal migration of sandhill cranes to their Wisconsin nesting grounds marks the passage of time, the artists designed The Dance to be “awe-inspiring, imaginative, and playful.” Click on this link to the exhibition webpage image gallery The Dance by The Myth Makers to see low-resolution versions of images. Upon request, high-resolution images of artwork to accompany news or feature articles for print can be provided to news media representatives; please use caption/credit line with any corresponding image used. If using online, only use images that have been converted to low-resolution 72 dpi.

 

For details, check the events calendar at www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at museum@lywam.org, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Woodson Art Museum Hours
Tues–Fri 9am–4pm
First Thurs of each month 9am–7:30pm
Thursdays during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Sat–Sun Noon–5pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas

Admission: Always Free Admission
Phone: 715.845.7010
Email: museum@lywam.org
Location: 700 N. 12th Street (Franklin & 12th Streets), Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
Online: www.lywam.org

 


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