Stella Cretek

Ups & Downs

By - Sep 12th, 2008 02:52 pm
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Mary Louise Schumacher, the art critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, beat everyone to the punch with her announcement of Nick Frank’s appointment as the “permanent” curator of Inova. “Permanent” is a rather risky word to use in the world of art, but after serving for several years as Inova’s “interim” curator, at least it seems Frank is more or less settled in. Inova operates under the banner of UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, and certainly it is no big secret that monies to carry forward will depend on grants, and as Schumacher wrote in a Frank quote, the “cooperation of artists.” It’s hard to believe the Inova galleries won’t be swamped with a tsunami of artists wanting to exhibit in the almost-new space on Kenilworth. In fact, their “cooperation” will likely be overwhelming.

Schumacher recently asked in her online space, if the placement of the admission desk in Windhover Hall at MAM is, perhaps, inappropriate for the carefully designed Calatrava addition. Far worse to my mind are the cheesy banners in the hall, the brainchild of former executive director David Gordon, and you can add to that gripe the morphing of the east wing (formerly the space for displaying strong sculptures) to a place to sip strong coffee. The north end of the east wing, a messy entry point to the old museum, resembles a mall kiosk.

These are only a few of my unfavorite changes. Of course, it isn’t the job of the museum’s board to micro-manage all the clutter. They have enough to do with keeping the bottom-line stable. During a visit last week, I ran into artist Taffnie Bogart, who is currently employed as a security person at MAM. Her spouse, painter Bruce Dorrow, is recovering from a very serious viral inflammation of his heart, and Taffnie, ever the trouper, jumped in to help with medical bills.

The summer 08 Wings newsletter from the Milwaukee Public Museum has a list titled “Body Worlds by the Numbers,” including 20 tons of ice used for fountain drinks sold, 338,593 persons attending the extravaganza, and 200 light bulbs changed in the exhibit. From Tuesday, September 9 through Friday, September 12, the museum will be closed to the public for major cleaning and maintenance. Anyone grousing about the inoperable powwow turntable, will be happy to know a new turntable is being fabricated and will be up and running in the fall of 2009. The Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation chipped in on the $260,000 project.

Categories: Dem Bones

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