Director's Note 2/1/16

February 1, 2016

Warm weather over the weekend and yesterday's glorious sunshine have radically altered the landscape outside my window. The balance between white and green on the lawn changes minute by minute as the snow melts away, and the patchwork extends out over the pond where smooth, shiny puddles sit on matte ice. Yesterday they reflected the pale blue sky. When the sun is out, one can feel the days lengthening; and when it finally sets, the inverted landscape of dramatically-colored clouds, almost unnatural in their purples and oranges, exposes slivers of bright blue and yellow light.

We know it's February, and the lawn is bound to turn white again, perhaps in time for this Saturday's Winter Carnival, but we also have summer on our minds. There's no point in trying to guess what the weather will be like this summer, and I usually try to stay off the weather sites until an event is upon us, but it seems likely that this will be one of our warmer winter carnivals, if not our snowiest, and maybe the kind of day when you can count on skating on the pond (we had such beautiful ice on Saturday!). We do post skating conditions on our Facebook page on the weekend, but feel free to call us if you have a yen to skate during the week when it gets a little cooler.

This year's carnival activities are organized by art collective After School Special and include two projects from guests Casey James Wilson and Matthew Jones. They have plenty planned--I'll just mention the cyborg fortuneteller--and our friends at Davey Tree Expert will also be on hand for a tree walk and their annual excursions into the higher branches of our higher trees, another kind of tree walk.

Next week we welcome Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time, to the Women's Speaker Series. We have you covered on Presidents' Day with a school's out workshop, and we have two workshops later in the month: Eddee Daniel and Max Yela will lead you through the concept and practice of developing an artist's book, and Jamie Bertsch will be back for another handloom weaving workshop, this one focused on pattern and texture (you get to take your loom home with you!).

We have two special events on February 20, one of which is an evening moon dinner with naturalist Naomi Cobb (details below). In the afternoon we convene for a Postscript Event, a follow up to Reggie Wilson's performance last summer, and an introduction to a project we're embarking on with artist Fo Wilson in June. We will be looking at the impact of Zora Neale Hurston, author of Moses, Man of the Mountain--one of the original inspirations for Wilson's Moses(es)--on artists across generations and disciplines. We have some wonderful guests lined up, and are posting a list of books and articles we've been looking at here. We encourage you to join us for the (free!) discussion. For those of you who saw the performance--or those who missed it--we hope to have the latest cut of a video that Reggie Wilson is producing about the project, too.

We also have much going on behind the scenes, like the reconvening of our Innovative Educators Institute participants, a steady stream of repairs, and plenty of planning for the spring and summer. If you haven't managed it yet, this is your last chance to see Scott Wolniak's exhibition, Landscape Record. It remains on view through the end of the month.


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