Wednesday, December 29, 2010
If you’ve ever considered volunteering your time and talents at the Woodson Art Museum, bundling those thoughts into a positive New Year’s resolution is just the thing to do. Many rewarding experiences await!
Volunteers are at the heART of the Museum’s operation. We need YOU – men, women, and teens, too – to ensure the delivery of key services that visitors have come to expect.
With a variety of volunteer opportunities available, there should be something for everyone interested in art and in extending the Museum’s hospitality to visitors. Consider these programs:
· Docents work with school and adult groups to facilitate discussion about artworks on view.
· SPARK! friends assist adults with memory loss as they engage in conversation in the galleries and hands-on art projects.
· Greeters welcome visitors by introducing the current exhibition and offering complimentary audio tours.
· Gardeners tend to heirloom plantings and thematic areas throughout the grounds.
· Toddler Tuesday volunteers facilitate art-making experiences for youngsters.
These five areas touch a range of visitors and yield many delightful rewards for volunteers, including specialized training and the satisfaction that comes from making a difference at the Art Museum.
Don’t put off your involvement at the Woodson Art Museum. Make volunteering your resolution for 2011 . . . no dieting, no sacrificing. In fact, the Museum’s talented and creative staff will provide the orientation and on-going training and you’ll be the happy beneficiary, as will all those with whom you interact.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or to join the Woodson Art Museum’s volunteer corps or call the Museum at 715-845-7010.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Take our next set of exhibitions for example. We began discussions to bring Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller to the Woodson Art Museum in March 2007. Last winter, curator of collections Jane Weinke and I drove to Minneapolis/St. Paul and one of our stops included the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design to view the installation of the Herman Miller exhibition.
The exhibition will be one of the more difficult installations that our team will undertake. I wanted to see the various components so that I could visualize the layout and assembly in Wausau. We met with the Goldstein Museum of Design’s director and registrar and received a firsthand account of installation challenges.
We’re also preparing for a complementary exhibition, It’s Herman Miller Time: Today’s Furniture Makers Respond, and a few weeks ago, I accompanied curator of education Erin Narloch to Madison to meet with UW-Madison professors and students to discuss details for a design studio and exhibition of student-made furniture.
A third exhibition on the docket is a display of Google Doodles, those intriguing designs that appear from time to time on the Google home page. A handful will be printed and installed in the Visitor Services Gallery and more than 150 designs will continuously loop on a screen in the gallery.
Our goal in presenting these exhibitions is to demonstrate classic and contemporary concepts in modern office design. Early Herman Miller Inc. - designed offices were functional, yet stylish, and the company’s successful strategy has continued to this day. The computer and Google Doodles are an integral part of the modern office.
As these exhibitions take shape, our team is already at work on the next set of exhibitions that opens in April, Almost Alice: New Illustrations of Wonderland by Maggie Taylor and Mad About Teapots: From the Racine Art Museum. And on it goes, with one foot in the present and one farther down the road.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Amy started working with students on Tuesday and all the pieces were glued in the 3’ x 20’ mural by Thursday. On Friday, students grouted and polished. The grouting was really fun and messy. One student said it was “the best museum visit ever.” Many didn’t want to stop working when their forty-five minute session with Amy came to an end.
On Tuesday evening, children ages 5-12 had two back-to-back workshops with Amy. All forty children worked on the mural and each created an individual mosaic medallion. As always, I was amazed at their individuality and creativity. One very young man, Casey, created an owl using two metal washers, two glass nuggets, an orange heart tile, and two other glass tiles for talons. I must mention this because it was amazing and because Casey and I must share the Woodson Art Museum’s affinity for birds. (Think Birds in Art!)
An adult workshop took place on what turned out to be a snowy Saturday. Eleven of the twenty-one participants who registered braved the storm. They began their workshop by sealing the mural created by the students and then spent a few hours working on their own 6”x 6” mosaics. Creativity is thriving at all ages. A few were surprised at how long the process took and how hard it was to cut tiles to fit in the curves and angles of a design. For a first attempt, I would recommend starting with a design that has only a few curves or angles and is predominantly straight lines and sharp corners.
Speaking of straight lines and sharp corners, the drive home during Saturday’s snowstorm was all curves and angles. One slick curve landed my car in the ditch. Thankfully, I’m okay and my car is in one piece. I hope everyone made it home safely. I enjoyed the mosaic workshop. What a fun group of adults to spend a snowy morning with creating art.
Note: Special thanks to Charter Communications and the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin's Community Arts Grant program, with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the B.A. Esther Greenheck Foundation, for support of Amy Weh's residency.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Would the array of desserts and coffee concoctions cause sugar shock that had them bouncing off the walls like Ping-Pong balls? Who and how many would show? Would teenage drama ensue?
Plus, safeguarding other people’s children and artists’ artwork is no small concern. Setting a casual, carefree tone (while warding off any potential issues) isn’t always an easy balance to strike.
But, as usual, my twinge of pre-party angst was a silly waste of energy. That is, thanks to a great group of twenty-three teenagers who came out, hung out at the Museum, and just had a good, solid evening of fun.
Jayna Hintz, education curator, has been leading the formation of the Museum’s Teen Art Council for several months and has done all of the legwork – shepherding the formulation (by the core nucleus of six teens) of criterion for serving on the Teen Art Council.
They want representatives from all area high schools to commit to attending monthly meetings on the third Sunday of each month, 3:30-5 pm. (DC Everest, East, and Merrill high schools are now represented, but more from any area school are welcome.)
The goal is to roll out the Museum welcome mat to area teenagers, to get them through the doors and convinced that they’re valued here, and that the Art Museum is a place to come to frequently for fun and inspiration.
The efforts began this summer with a concert on Museum grounds that drew 180, followed by two events this fall. Goals include expanding the council from six members to twelve and for TAC to plan five events per year to coincide with themes of the changing exhibitions.
Any teen interested in finding out more about serving on the Teen Art Council (what a great item to add to a resume!), should contact Jayna Hintz at 715-845-7010 for more information. Here’s to many more angst-free (for all), fun-filled teen events at the Woodson Art Museum.