Director's Note 12/1/18

December 1, 2018

Welcome to November in December, which is fitting enough after December in November. It’s grey and wet outside. We watch the puddles on the east lawn grow into small lakes, and then into spontaneous ice-skating rinks. It is difficult not to venture a foot on the ice when walking around Big Lake—just a little tap, to test its reality. Mostly, it’s been a head-down time of year, with much planning for 2019. But heads snapped up on Saturday, when the building was filled with the teachers in our Innovative Educators Institute. We spent the morning interpreting Tyanna Buie’s work in the gallery, then making puppets (entire ensembles of puppets!) and experimenting with paper pulp. The afternoon was given over to the always important sharing of cross-curricular projects that different teams are developing in their schools. It is often the offhand comments that offer insight into the daily lives of teachers: how two teachers arranged to serve breakfast together so that they can grab a little planning time; the sudden interest across the room as a special education teacher described using a voice typing app with her students. “Time to share knowledge is missing for teachers,” commented one classroom veteran; “these reconvenings are rejuvenating and inspiring” noted a teacher closer to the start of her career.

Our work with teachers, and children, leads directly enough to the fact that this is the time of year when we ask for your support. We try to keep our pleas to a minimum, but it's important for us to take stock at the end of the year and to share our ideas about what makes Lynden worthy of your continued commitment. We hope that you consider renewing your membership, or purchasing memberships as gifts for friends and family members. Sarah Luther's Lynden notecards, Sara Caron's Lynden T-shirts (in eight sizes!) and Big Lake enamel pins, as well as the catalogues that illuminate various aspects of the Lynden enterprise, make great gifts, too. Proceeds from the sale of T-shirts, notecards, and catalogues support Lynden's education, conservation and publication programs. We hope, too, that you put Lynden on your gift list this year, and make a tax-deductible donation that will help this laboratory at the intersection of art, nature, and culture thrive in 2019. We will be sending out a few e-reminders in the coming weeks; donate now and delete them with confidence.

Most of our December workshops are already full (Leslie Perrino was in for silk scarf painting on the weekend, and the Milwaukee Craft Guild offers a cutting board workshop on December 8), but keep in mind that many workshops are repeated across the year. If you can’t get a spot now, go ahead and sign up for the next one. We have a family workshop that helps you make gifts for the birds in your neighborhood, and the Self Care Studio circles back to aromatherapy—this time making herbal tub tea for yourself or another. Tuesdays in the Garden looks, aptly enough, at winter trees; the weekly art drop-ins wind down mid-month; and we squeeze in a dog day before we close for the holiday.

Bird counters are still welcome to join Project FeederWatch. If you’d like to sign up for a shift of (comfortable, indoor) birdwatching, contact Naomi Cobb at Though the cold weather has not yet been consistent enough for ice-skating yet (resist that urge to walk out onto the ice), keep an eye on our Facebook page—we’ll post when there’s enough ice to skate.

We (quietly) open an exhibition of Clement Meadmore’s work next week. Meadmore (American, b. Australia, 1929-2005) is represented in Lynden’s permanent outdoor collection by two exuberant monumental works, Upstart (1967) and Double Up (1970). Clement Meadmore: The Models continues our exploration of the work and creative processes of artists in our collection, many of whom were also making smaller sculpture, furniture, or works on paper. In this exhibition, organized in collaboration with Meadmore Sculptures, we display eight models—some of them used to this day to fabricate Meadmore’s large-scale works—and other small works. Watch for more programming around this exhibition in the new year.

We are also closing out the 2017 Nohl Fellowship year with two events featuring filmmaker Sky Hopinka.

Lynden will close for the holiday at the end of the day on December 23, reopening the morning of January 2. This is not to say that we won’t be here working, though perhaps on somewhat erratic schedules. Members are welcome to give a call or send an email to see about making a holiday visit (another great reason to become a member).

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