Director's Note 5/1/17

May 1, 2017

It couldn’t be greener. With all this rain, the grass thrives and one can almost see the leaves growing on the trees. True, one needs boots or a bathing suit to navigate the many new lakes that have sprung up across the lawn, but they are worth wading through to inhale the smell of the emerging lilacs. No doubt the kites will make their silent ascent to the accompaniment of a good deal of squelching this Saturday, when we celebrate spring with Kites over Lynden.

May flowers abound. The winds have swept away all but a few of the magnolia petals but, in addition to the lilacs, there are blooms everywhere. I’m doing particularly well identifying the “d”s: daffodils and dandelions. George Sugarman’s Trio, so insistently—and bracingly--yellow all winter, our own man-made sun, pales beside the colonies of dandelions that dot the lawn. Trio, in case you are interested, is not the sculpture that was memorialized as a cake for International Sculpture Day last week. Debbie Pagel of EatCake! chose Barbara Hepworth’s solid and vertical Conversation with Magic Stones, Figure 3. We admired it for several hours before happily consuming it—pictures abound here and elsewhere online.

May programming offers an interesting mix of flora and fauna, hands-on artmaking and performance. May is when our school activities wind down: Art Drop-In goes on break after the middle of the month, and we have our final homeschool day of the year on May 18. Tuesdays in the Garden does not go away but focuses on springtime (May 16), and the dogs will enjoy their day—May 20--regardless of weather. Bruce Knackert begins a new iteration of the Conservation Framing Series, this one a little more hands-on. On May 7, participants will bring in works on paper to unframe, and in June one of those works will be reframed. Jeremy Stepien will help you prepare for the growing season by teaching you how to make bentwood obelisk baskets on May 7, perfect for training sweet peas or other climbing plants. Our Garden Series kicks off on May 20 with a beekeeping workshop with Charlie Koenen: you should walk away at the end of the day with enough knowledge to start your own hive. And where would we be if there weren’t birds with the bees: Chuck Stebelton offers his second bird walk, this one in company with composer Renato Umali, on May 21. Leslie Perrino is back for her annual Mother’s Day Silk Scarf Painting workshop (May 14)—an excellent opportunity to grab your mother and make some beautiful scarves. We are pleased to welcome writer Kate Southwood for her second visit to the Women’s Speaker Series on May 22. She'll be bringing her latest book, Evensong, and it should be light enough to enjoy some time in the sculpture garden before the reading begins.

May is the month when performers begin to venture out. I Cellisti, the student ensemble of the Cello Institute of Milwaukee, will play it safe and fill the gallery with solo and ensemble music on May 21. We are hoping that things will have dried out a bit by the time the intrepid performers of Hyperlocal come out on May 14 for Easement, the 13th installment in their series of interdisciplinary improvisations. And surely the boots will be off by the time we begin our late Wednesdays at the end of the month (May 31), staying open until 7:30 pm for picnics and evening strolls. Artist-in-residence Sara Caron will enliven the first several Wednesday evenings with hikes along her trail and a pop-up gift shop/information center.

Judging from the number of oddly-shaped boxes piled up outside my office door, we are gearing up for summer camps. There are spaces left in the first two, Art of Change and On the Wing. Don’t forget to venture into the gallery this month to see Cecelia Condit’s two-channel video installation, Tales of a Future Past. Two events—Hyperlocal’s performance and the Chuck Stebelton’s bird walk—reference it in different ways.

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