Friday, April 30, 2010

Court Announces Ruling in Wilderness Wal-Mart Case

Those persistent preservationists have won another victory and will get their day in court. The PreservationNation blog published by National Trust for Historic Preservation has this update on the story of the Wal-Mart and the Wilderness battlefield.

Click on the following links to articles from last summer on the battle to preserve the battlefield.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cleveland Museum of Art stands together with the city, hangs Cavs banners on front of building

Our show of support for another great Cleveland attraction. T... on Twitpic

First the Super Bowl bet between the New Orleans and Indianapolis museums of art, and now this. These top shelf art museums better be careful or they are going to throw off their stuffed-shirt reputations entirely... And wouldn't that be a shame?

Click on the image to see the full size photo on

Better see iona rozeal brown at MOCA Cleveland before it all falls down

Last week I had the privilege of joining some friends for a tour of the iona rozeal brown : all falls down exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland. Megan Lykins Reich, Director of Education and Associate Curator at MOCA led our group on an incredibly informative journey through the colorful and dramatic narrative of iona rozeal brown's hip hop mythology. (Click here for a podcast of Megan Lykins Reich discussing the exhibit.)

This was a fantastic contemporary art exhibit for the art aficionado and uninitiated skeptic alike. Touring the exhibition with the curator and having the benefit of her insider knowledge about the art and its every detail certainly helped hook the non art-lovers among us, but the images themselves were compelling advocates for an appreciation of contemporary art. The images were at once very familiar and utterly strange, transporting the viewer from a world we know, to one we have never seen before. It was as if we had gone through iona rozeal brown's own personal looking glass to a place where good battles evil with turntables and tricycles.

The oversized panels and striking diptych drew all of us closer and closer to the artwork, until we were standing well beyond the museum-appropriate viewing distance, seemingly sucked into the story and wanting to touch the artist's creative genius. The inspired storytelling referenced modern hip hop culture and traditional Japanese woodblock prints in a fantastic juxtaposition of style and theme. It was visually stunning, funny in places, and frightening in others. Certainly a must-see. Unfortunately, there are just over two weeks left to catch this one-of-a-kind show, which closes Sunday, May 9th.

If you get a chance to visit MOCA before May 9th, also check out From Then to Now : Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art. Drawn from collections around Northeast Ohio, thought-provoking pieces confront visitors at every turn. Once again, most of the pieces in the exhibition were accessible compositions, stimulating contemplation and raising questions even in those viewers without a vast contemporary art vocabulary.

Finally, anyone interested in iona rozeal brown's show in the front gallery should not miss her installation in the Dr. Gerald and Phyllis Seltzer Rotunda Gallery-- the rear gallery at MOCA accessed via the contemporary African American art exhibit. Earlier this year, rozeal brown worked with high school students from the Progressive Arts Alliance's 2009 RHAPSODY Hip Hop Summer Camp and the Visual Communications Arts Class at East Cleveland's Shaw High School to create a larger than life mural and multipanel Japanese style screen. Original painted vignettes in the mural and written narratives on the screen reflect the students' culture, experience, and desire for a better tomorrow. Moving and raw, the compositions generate hope that art really can change young lives.

With something for everyone in the galleries, there is no doubt that now is the time to make it to MOCA. Hurry down to the museum before iona rozeal brown's caped heroine Yoshi rides her magical big wheel off into Cleveland's sunset.

A very special thank you to Megan Lykins Reich for her captivating tour, Jessica Goodworth for letting me join her group of fab friends, and Carin Rockind for inviting me to the event.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Green up! museum workshop at OMA Conference 2010

Since today is Earth Day 2010, it seemed somehow appropriate to shamelessly plug the "Green Up!" museum workshop I will present next Monday, April 26th at the Ohio Museums Association conference.

Robert Stockham, LEED AP and Principal at the Great Lakes Design Collaborative, Sarah Stilgenbauer, Foundations and Government Relations Manager at Opera Cleveland, and I are planning an informative, but fun workshop full of first-hand examples and practical ideas for organizations dealing with the realities of going green. Workshop highlights will include an introduction to designing and implementing a green plan, a case study in going green--Opera Cleveland's Lucia di Lammermoor, and some practical first steps for museums ready to increase efforts toward reducing their environmental footprint.

Please join us at the OMA conference, or check MuseoBlogger again next week for a link to the powerpoint slides online.

In the meantime, check out Opera Cleveland's YouTube video explaining the how and why behind their decision to green up next month's production of Lucia.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last call for 2010 OMA Conference registrations

There is still a very limited amount of time to register for the 2010 OMA Conference this weekend at Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, Ohio.

Don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of great professional development programs, networking with colleagues, and planning for your museum's survival in the current economic climate and the realities of the "new normal."

Click here to download a registration form, and I'll look forward to seeing you there.

2010 OMA Museum Careers Presentation

A preview of a museum careers presentation debuting at the OMA Annual Conference April 25-26th.

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