Monday, September 22, 2008
Today kicks off the first day of a weeklong residency featuring character actor Brian Ellis as John James Audubon. During this week, Mr. Audubon will interact with over 475 students during school tours, many visitors for evening programs, and even more families on Saturday at OctoBIRDfest (Wausau’s biggest and birdiest family festival).
I believe these sorts of experiences are so important for visitors of all ages, especially young ones. (I can still remember how upset I was in the fourth grade when the flu kept me home on the day Laura Ingalls Wilder was visiting my classroom.)
Why are these experiences so important?
They animate something inanimate. What are some of the experiences that have brought art to life for you?
If you’d like to see Mr. Audubon at work in the galleries, call the Museum at 715-845-7010 for times or check out our website at www.lywam.org for the week’s schedule.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
When I began working at the Woodson Art Museum nearly thirty years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the significant and beautiful artworks that would make their home at the Woodson. And while I stand in awe when viewing the oil painting Two Hooded Visorbearer Hummingbirds by Martin Johnson Heade, its beauty is only slightly surpassed by the rare John James Audubon oil painting Pacific Loons. These are just two of over 4,000 remarkable works in the collection; just pinch me I must be dreaming.
Sharing beautiful artworks with visitors is a daily occurrence at the Woodson, but during the opening weekend of Birds in Art when many artists are visiting I get the opportunity to share works not on view. One example is the collection of Don Richard Eckelberry, whose lifetime accumulation of working materials and artworks including pencil and ink drawings, and watercolor and acrylic sketches are on long-term loan to the Woodson. I spent barely 20 minutes with two artists as they studied a small selection of these works, and came away with countless tidbits of information, insight into the artistic mind, and tales of personal experiences these two had shared with Don during visits to his studio on Long Island. To be responsible for the care of these works is an honor and a responsibility as well as an opportunity to preserve the work of an artist whose passion and focus mirror those of the Woodson Art Museum.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I can think of no better or more appropriate time than following the enthusiastically well-received opening of Birds in Art 2008 to launch the Woodson Art Museum’s blog.
We’re flying high – pun intended – and embracing Web 2.0 technologies like a fledgling about to leave the nest. Would readers of this blog expect anything less from the Woodson Art Museum?!
Welcome to “Woodson Wanderings,” where Museum staff will share impressions and insights about top-of-mind news and events that we hope will have broad appeal and interest as well as generate feedback.
To get us started I’ll reflect on the opening of the Woodson Art Museum’s 33rd annual Birds in Art exhibition . . . how the years have flown by. We’ve made so many wonderful friends over the years from near and far. The Birds in Art family is a truly remarkable one and the opening weekend demonstrated once again that art is a common language that crosses cultural differences and generations.
One of the Woodson’s signature programs for young children is called “Making Friends through Art.” This title sums up the Birds in Art opening weekend as we hear time and again how lasting friendships began in the Woodson’s galleries, at the Midway Hotel, under the tent, or on a pontoon boat on Lake Katherine. It’s enormously gratifying to know that so many introductions made at Birds in Art have blossomed into friendships that last a lifetime.
Let us hear from you . . . current, past, and future Birds in Art participants. You’re all welcome to weigh in.
We invite everyone with an interest in birds, art, and the Woodson Art Museum to share their thoughts.
Join us as we “wander” into the blogosphere from the Woodson!