Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

It has been far too long since we’ve talked!  So much has been happening at your museum that we neglected to get our Spring newsletter out…so happy Summer!  As the saying goes…Absence makes…and I have appreciated you all just the same in the silence. 

I don’t know where to begin.  Let’s see… 

You’ll note in the content of this newsletter that we have grown to an acquisition phase.  It has been quite some time since the museum has selectively acquired new work that fits within our collection philosophy.  We are excited about this growth and encourage you to consider contributing to our restricted acquisition fund.  With our recent additions we have attracted new audiences and given you something new to see.  Come visit and bring the family. 

We couldn’t be more blessed than to be the recipient of The Last Whistle.  A beautiful gift of a bronze sculpture by Ken Newman, which was featured at ArtPrize last year.  It is perfect for our community, depicting a blue collar worker.  It represents our heritage, our grit, determination and perseverance. The Jury Foundation presented the sculpture to us and we are busy at work planning for its dedication on August 31, 2017, with a community-wide picnic on the front lawn of the museum.  You’ll notice that we are doing some landscaping across the front of the house to prepare a patio to place the piece just outside of the sculpture gallery.  We will be selling brick pavers for you to inscribe with your desired message – so don’t miss out!  Most exciting is that we have reached out to area labor and trades unions who have been absolutely supportive, excited and anxious to get involved in the project.  We are so honored to have The Last Whistle and will be leveraging it in a number of ways to engage our community.  Look for us to partner with Delta College this fall with a series of lectures related to the sculpture and our Where We Live mural, by Andrew Reider, in our Artisan Wing. 

Our outdoor renaissance has begun.  Painting is underway to restore the historical colors of the Ring home.  We will be refurbishing the tool shed and pergola in the gardens and adding a security fence as well.  I have shared with many my dream of being able to have food vendors and music during summer evenings to enjoy the gardens and a glass of wine.  We’re getting closer!  Our garden volunteers, led this year by Mark Fischer, have been fantastic as usual and we’ve been fortunate to have the services of two or three TriCap volunteers to keep the weeds at bay. 

Finally, I need to share some news about your staff here at the museum.  We recently added Lauren Grotkowski as our Registrar.  She will greet you at the front desk and manage the ever-important documentation of our permanent collection.  She is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Museum Science.  Sarah Trew, a graduate of the University of Westminster in London, UK, previously employed by the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, joins us as our Assistant Curator.  We welcome them both to our family.  Emily Korn, our extraordinary Event Coordinator, has been promoted to Manager of Museum Services and not only serves to coordinate our events, but will oversee the administration of the museum on a daily basis.  That said, it is with sadness and appreciation that we say goodbye to our Associate Curator, Eric Birkle, as he departs to pursue his Master degree at Ohio University.  He will be greatly missed – but promises he will not be a stranger.  Join me in wishing him all the best!  Stay tuned for a celebration in his honor before he leaves… 

As always, fondly,