Letter from the Director – Spring

Dear WMA Members and Friends,

WMA is a place to be inspired, to learn, and to gather as a community year-round. This quarter we are making meaningful connections through new exhibitions, programs, and initiatives that are bringing artists and ideas together, right here in the Wiregrass.

Last quarter I mentioned to you all that we were in various stages of planning for the second and third installments of our Bicentennial programs. In the summer of 2015, WMA committed to curating an exhibition for the Alabama Bicentennial along with the other major art museums in the state. Because our exhibition program already has a strong focus on showing Alabama artists, we decided to do three exhibitions, each representing the corresponding theme set by the state.

Last summer, you may remember our exhibition Museum of Wonder featuring work by Butch Anthony. To highlight the year’s theme of “Discovering our Places” we thought it appropriate for our first bicentennial-related exhibition to showcase one of the most unique places in Alabama; Butch’s built environment in Seale, Alabama complete with the original Museum of Wonder and the world famous drive-thru museum. As part of the exhibition, we built a museum inside the museum, commissioned Butch to build a mini drive-thru for 24/7 access to his art, and even posted billboards around town with intertwangled portraits of Wiregrass residents.

This April we will open the second installment in our bicentennial exhibition series titled Alabama Reckoner. This exhibition will include Doug Baulos’s 12 mixed media installations representing the portraits of Alabama artists, including a self-portrait. I learned about the portrait series in 2016 when we were working with Doug during the Made in Alabama group exhibition, and thought it would be an ideal collection of work to celebrate the 2018 state bicentennial theme, “Honoring Our People.”

During the exhibition, you will become acquainted with Doug’s thoughtful approach to material and process through the intricate details in each portrait. We’ve traveled to Birmingham, where Doug lives and works, throughout the last year to work on this project, conduct interviews, and meet with the artists that he has chosen to represent in these portraits. In addition to the portrait series, the museum will also be exhibiting selections of work from many of these artists, and information about the portraits and each artist will be available in person, and online through expanded labels, video interviews, and much more. I’m particularly proud of this exhibition, and the meaning behind it, as it highlights WMA’s commitment to showcase the work of Alabama artists, offering them a platform to tell their powerful, often personal, stories.

In June, the museum will debut its third and final installment of bicentennial projects, with a yearlong, public exhibition of sculpture. Conceptualized and crafted by a group of local creatives, Semiotic Compass/Sharing Our Stories, is a collaborative exhibition which will be the basis for corresponding public programs. The outdoor sculpture installation is inspired by concepts of communication, and a sense of place, encouraging conversation at the installation site and among the local and regional community.

WMA continues to be critical voice in the regional dialogue on contemporary art, and its role in our cities. By bringing together strategic partners and artist collectives we are able to shine a brighter light on the impact of arts and culture in the Wiregrass. I hope you all will join us in celebrating these exciting projects, and check our calendar for upcoming events and programs!

All the best,

Dana-Marie Lemmer
Director and Curator

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Financial Report (2014)
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Email Educator Amanda Holcomb

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Youth Write Night Registration

Write Night Registration

Visiting Artist Workshop – Douglas Baulos and Pinky Bass

  • June 9th, 2018 from 10am to 3pm. Ages 12+ (Students under the age of 15 should be accompanied by a guardian.)

Annual Reports

Annual Report (2018)
Annual Report (2017)

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Throughout the year, WMA will host “Meet the Educator” days where parents and their children can come to the classroom to meet the instructor before beginning classes and camps. 2019’s schedule is as follows: January 30 from 4pm-6pm, May 29 from 4pm-6pm, and August 28 from 4pm-6pm.