The sculpture garden and grounds are lush with almost tropical beauty, given the copious amounts of rain, sunshine, and humidity that have made the flowers and plants thrive. And the place has a serene and elegant feel – both inside and out.
What I have begun to understand, though, is a measure of the effort that goes into creating a seamless, dreamlike, and often lively and fun-filled, experience for each visitor who comes through the door, visits the Museum’s website, or follows our Facebook and Twitter posts.
Director Kathy Foley offered, at a recent staff meeting, the analogy of a swimming duck – seeming to glide effortlessly while paddling feverishly below the surface. Given that this year both the Museum and its signature exhibition, Birds in Art, are celebrating their 35th anniversaries, this is a place where references to birds abound. So the swimming duck analogy is an apt one. (Although, I have to admit; I see more of a swan.)
When I tell people that I got the job just a month after graduating from Northcentral Technical College, it all sounds so very easy. But the truth is, it wasn’t.
I, too, was paddling furiously – to finish a two-year associate’s degree in eighteen months (thanks to my bachelor-degree credits that transferred) so that I’d be finished before our oldest son’s tuition bills started pouring in. I was churning away, trying to finish a search engine optimization internship at Eastbay. And I was scurrying about trying to prepare for our oldest son’s high school graduation and week-long visits from both sets of his grandparents.
In the end, however, the rewards usually far outweigh the effort required. Where Birds in Art is concerned, the community certainly reaps untold benefits. My family and I have soaked up the exhibition for each of the three years we’ve lived in Wausau. So I know the rewards for visitors are many, varied, and rich.
Preparations for this year’s Birds in Art exhibition began long before I joined the staff this summer; it’s a year-round effort. But helping edit the gorgeous 132-page catalogue, the preview invitation and the events calendar will mean I experience an even deeper appreciation of the 118 artworks this year.
As always, rewards stem from hard work with a splash of serendipity on the side.