Director's Note 11/1/14

November 1, 2014

November is a time for organizing, for planning ahead. Perhaps this is an atavistic response to the impending winter; perhaps it's because we find ourselves on the cusp of the old year (which requires some tidying up) and the new (which needs to be mapped out). Budgets need to be projected, irrigation needs to be shut down, the more delicate sculptures need to move inside.

Lynden is launching two forward-looking ventures this month: Project FeederWatch (a citizen science effort emanating from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and a series of holiday giftmaking workshops, for those who want to get started on their holiday preparations.

Board members Kristie Jochmann and Laj Waghray have had citizen science on their minds for some time, and now that Naomi Cobb is on staff as Lynden's naturalist, we are ready to integrate one of these data-collecting efforts into our programming. Lynden is now a registered site for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Project FeederWatch. The main goal of this project is to combine the interests of backyard bird watchers with the needs of ornithologists who study bird populations. By making simple, standardized counts of the birds in their yards (or, in this case, at Lynden) and reporting them to the FeederWatch database, FeederWatchers contribute directly to the scientific understanding of bird populations. These observations help scientists study changes in the distribution and abundance of feeder birds over time.

We have designated two consecutive days most weeks from November 8 through April 3 for bird counts, and we need your help! We will be sending out a FeederWatch project email with more information in the near future, and we are planning additional programs, such as bird walks, around the project. In the interim, you can visit the FeederWatch website and download their very useful handbook.

Lynden's holiday giftmaking workshops begin November 22 and run through December 14. They range from simple activities suitable for families with smaller children to more advanced workshops for adults. To enhance the celebratory spirit, we will have light refreshments available for participants. Whether you are making a gift for yourself or another, these workshops should provide a cheerful atmosphere for art making as we head into winter. To see a complete list of holiday giftmaking workshops, visit:; for individual descriptions, see below.

If you are feeling particularly generous this gift-giving season, you may find something of interest at the opening of our next exhibition, Urban Wood Encounter. The exhibition, organized with urban wood advocate Dwayne Sperber, features fine furniture made from urban wood--the trees that line our streets, shade our homes, and define our parks. We like to keep an eye on the ways in which artists are thinking creatively about sustainability--Emilie Clark's Sweet Corruptions, Yevgeniya Kaganovich's grow project--and Urban Wood Encounter dovetails nicely with this interest and provides a platform for programming around the topics of trees and sustainability. We will begin with a tree walk on November 16 led by Bob Retko, Lynden's senior groundskeeper, and Todd Davey, arborist at Davey Tree, that focuses on the history of Lynden's tree collection and tree management in the time of emerald ash borer.

Other events this month include a ceramics workshop on November 10 and a shibori with natural dyes workshop on November 16, as well as the traditional postprandial dog day on November 29, when you and your canine can walk off any heavy meals from the preceding days.

If you stop in for the opening on Sunday you will also see some new additions to the work on display at Lynden. Three pieces long in the Bradley Family Foundation collection--Barbara Hepworth's Two Piece Marble (Rangatira), a Donald Judd sculpture that used to hang over the swimming pool (Untitled, 1970), and Ellsworth Kelly's Curve VI--are returning to Lynden while portions of the Milwaukee Art Museum are closed for renovation. We're delighted to have the sculptures back, and thank the museum for this generous loan.

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