Director's Note 3/1/15

March 1, 2015

There is definitely more light. It's not just that it's bouncing off the expanses of snow; the days are longer, starting earlier and ending later. And I'm not the only one whose mind is pleasantly diverted from the cold by the light--even the turkeys, trotting over for their daily share of peanut shells beneath the feeders, are venturing further, rediscovering the mysteries of their reflections in the patio glass or Heinz Mack's Three Graces.

We were fortunate to have light, snow, and even a bit of warmth for the winter carnival this year. I saw skiers, snowshoers, and a few disappointed people carrying skates (the ice, alas, did not cooperate). Plenty of you turned out to dance in Claire Ashley's giant inflatable sculpture, sample the many varieties of grilled cheese from the Gouda Girls food truck, and watch the amazing climbers from Davey Tree, our carnival sponsor. We had a good crowd for Sharon Morrisey's winter tree walk, and the offerings at the nature table--from little feet and bones to deer legs and "Lyndenboggans" for our smaller visitors--were very popular. A steady stream of visitors took their cues from artist Roy Staab's directions and built a giant snow installation on the south lawn, while others gathered at Forrest Myers's Quartet to watch clouds with Claire Hitchcock Tilton. A dedicated group joined Wes Tank and Khine Hline as they made a movie from start to finish on the Lynden grounds (complete with a DIY soundtrack produced by making the actors carry a boombox around as it played old cassettes found at Goodwill). For those needing a rest, MIAD student Robert Matthiesen set up two recliners by the Big Lake, and invited visitors to plunk down next to him. The surprisingly warm weather did not keep people out of the studio: I saw bird puppets and candles emerging at different times of the day. Ashley Janke and Zach Swearingen enlivened the afternoon with a combination of face-painting and a photo booth that included large props to hold while posed before a grocery-themed backdrop. People of all ages tossed the branches and leaves of artist-in-residence Pegi Christiansen's "Winter Forest" into the bonfire at the end of the day (she writes about the rise and fall of the installation here). Thanks to artist-in-residence Eddee Daniel, there are plenty of great carnival images out there, and this blog post where you can see quite a few of them.

We launched two new family-friendly programs, a Sculpture Scavenger Hunt and a Winter Nature Challenge, at the carnival. If you missed these, stop at the front desk to pick up copies and explore two new ways to enjoy the sculpture garden. Naomi Cobb, who ventures outside with the very young every month in Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Garden, invites the intrepid of all ages to join her for a Micro Moon Walk on March 6 (the moon will appear very small), and a Bird Walk on March 22--this one during daylight hours. I'll help you prepare for the latter by sharing this internet bird delight with you: 435 high resolution, zoomable images of plates from John J. Audubon’s Birds of America.

Summer art and nature camps are filling up, and paper brochures should be arriving today if you prefer to hold the schedule in your hands. We are also assembling the spring and summer schedules, covering the months of April through August, so if you have any suggestions for workshops or other activities, now is the time to speak (or email). We are adding events to the web calendar as they are confirmed, and we hope to have a brochure ready by the end of March.

We still have a few openings in March workshops, including Textile Marbling, Ceramics, Tapestry Weaving (this is a new one and we're hoping it flies), and Editing Your GoPro Footage. We have two School's Out Workshops for those of you who don't have school on March 6 or March 20, and a Homeschool Day on the 26th. The weekly Art Drop-in continues on Wednesdays, and you can come help Yevgeniya Kaganovich with the grow project on the 8th. Nor have we forgotten the dogs, who have their day on March 21.

We kick off March--and end this newsletter--with the opening of a new exhibition, Robin Jebavy: Recent Paintings. The opening reception is Sunday, March 1, from 3 to 5 pm. Admission is free and there will be cheese (something of a theme here). I am still adjusting to the empty floor next door--I've spent the past several months threading my way between many pieces of sustainable wood furniture--but even half-installed, these paintings stop me every time I set foot in the gallery. The large still lifes of glassware function as portals into the metaphysical--Jebavy talks about "falling into" the painting--and they loom in the domestic space of what used to be the Bradleys' living room.


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