Lynden Sculpture Garden
Press Release

September at Lynden

The sculpture garden will be closed on September 7 for the holiday.

By - Sep 1st, 2020 02:02 pm
Lynden Sculpture Garden

Lynden Sculpture Garden

It was cool enough early this morning to sense impending autumn. In the front yard gardens in my neighborhood, fall plants are thriving—sunflowers, black-eyed susans, some anemones–but the brightest stars of summer have left behind mats of wilted foliage. At Lynden, a few trees are shifting to yellow, and when the wind blows, small clouds of leaves kick up across the grounds. The twisted elm by the edge of Big Lake is losing its summer color from the top down, green draining away into the drying grass.

We have had a record number of visitors this summer. I am not out on the grounds very often during the day, but recently camped out under the tents for a series of socially-distanced video interviews with the 2019 Nohl Fellows. From there I could observe the steady stream of strollers (both conveyances and people), the excited frog-watching (and occasional splash as someone landed in the pond—not recommended!), and the very close scrutiny bestowed on sculptures and living things by visitors intent on making the most of their visit.

This autumn, admission to Lynden will remain free. We hope that visitors will continue to make their way here in the colder months as they seek safe places to wander outdoors. The main building remains closed to the public—though you can make an appointment here to see our latest exhibition, Ariana Vaeth: New Work, which has been extended through December 23.

With school resuming in various forms, we invite you to make use of Lynden as a classroom this autumn. Check out the library of projects created last spring by Lynden educators under the “For Families—Art Drop-In” tab here: Many of these projects are adaptable for home or Lynden use.

We will be offering a mélange of in-person, hybrid, and virtual programs for adults, children, and families this fall. We will take advantage of the outdoors as long as we can by conducting masked, socially-distanced programs on the grounds—some of these will continue, for the hardy, into the winter. In September, Chuck Stebelton leads a bird walk; Kyle Denton forages for herbs; and you are welcome to bring your dog for dog day. Kim Khaira will offer a series of brief, outdoor, one-one-one indigo dyeing sessions in September and early October. You must register for all of these programs—except dog day–online (details below). They fill up quickly.

Claudia Orjuela will offer two sessions of Tuesdays in the Garden for children aged 1-3 and their parents/caregivers. Building on her experiences this summer, she is also continuing outdoor programs for 4-6 year-olds and their parents under the new title Art and Nature Lab for Parents & Small Children. Claudia is working with Kim Khaira to produce a monthly, bilingual HOME Story Time featuring children’s books written or illustrated by those who have faced forced displacement as refugees, asylum seekers, or immigrants. Designed for children aged 4-8, we end each session with an art activity. Watch for a new episode the second Wednesday of each month. Jeremy Stepien is offering a 7-week, hybrid version of Art and Nature Lab for children aged 7-11, and a virtual Art Club for the 11 and ups.

For those who have already tuned in, our 2020 Call & Response public programming began last week with CHOREOGRAPHERS IN PLACE: SECRETS OF PROCESS. This series of virtual conversations about place—Milwaukee, Lynden—and its impact on choreographic process, was conducted by Lynden artist-in-residence Reggie Wilson and co-presented with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. We will be unveiling a new interview every Wednesday through September 16. Each of the four choreographers Wilson spoke with on Zoom–Nora Chipaumire, Jeanine Durning, Eiko Otake, and Okwui Okpokwasili—has a history of performing at Lynden, and they all have much to say about how choreographers think and work, and how artists are surviving and making work during a global health crisis. Each interview begins with a screening of CITIZEN–MKE, a film made about Wilson’s 2018 performance at Lynden.

Our HOME programming continues online as we resume our series of conversations on displacement, this time with particular attention to the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on refugee and immigrant communities. The first of these, HOME: Conversations on Black Lives Matter, brings together a panel of refugees and immigrants — Sumeya Osman, Biak Hlawn, Toslimah Kanahan, Marcela Garci — and will be moderated by Paul Vang.

Artists take note: the 2020 Nohl Fellowship application cycle opens on September 8. Information can be found at On September 23, 2019 Nohl Fellow Vaughan Larsen will deliver a virtual UWM Artists Now! Lecture; more info here:

September events, arranged chronologically:

Reggie Wilson in Conversation
Wednesdays at 6 pm
September 2, 2020: Jeanine Durning
September 9, 2020: Eiko Otake
September 16, 2020: Okwui Okpokwasili

CHOREOGRAPHERS IN PLACE: SECRETS OF PROCESS is a series of four virtual conversations featuring choreographer Reggie Wilson, artist-in-residence at the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Wilson invited Nora Chipaumire, Jeanine Durning, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Eiko Otake— choreographers who have presented work and/or performed at the sculpture garden—to talk with him individually about choreography and place. The series, a co-presentation of the Lynden and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group (Brooklyn, NY), launches on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 6 pm with a screening of Wilson’s conversation with Nora Chipaumire. A new video will be released each Wednesday evening: Jeanine Durning on September 2, Eiko Otake on September 9, and Okwui Okpokwasili on September 16. Each of these conversations will be preceded by a screening of Wilson’s CITIZEN:MKE, a work he recreated for performance at Lynden in 2018. Wilson spoke with each choreographer from a different location at Lynden, and they joined him from their homes in Brooklyn, NY, Newburgh, NY, or—in the case of Eiko Otake—her mother’s garden in Japan. The conversations will remain online following the screenings. This is a Call & Response 2020 program.

Tuesdays, September 8, 2020 (Artful Garden) & September 22, 2020 (Flower Friends) – 10:30 am-11:30 am

The 40 acres that house the Lynden collection of monumental outdoor sculpture are also home to many birds, insects, frogs, mammals, and plants. Join art educator Claudia Orjuela for hands-on art making and all-senses-engaged exploration of the outdoor world at Lynden. We’ll consider a new theme each session, each designed to engage your child’s curiosity and encourage outdoor play, experimentation, and the manipulation of art materials. Tuesdays in the Garden is designed for children aged 1 through 3 and their caregivers. Masks required for adults. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 – 10:30-11 am

Join us for a virtual, bilingual HOME Story Time from the comfort of your home. HOME Story Time features children’s books written or illustrated by authors, illustrators, and artists who have faced forced displacement as refugees, asylum seekers, or immigrants. Designed for children aged 4-8, we end each session with an art activity from Lynden art educator Claudia Orjuela. Worksheets and handouts will be available for download. Scheduled to screen every second Wednesday of the month, HOME Story Time is a collaboration with the Milwaukee Public Library, the Islamic Resource Center, Hanan Refugee Relief Group, and Alliance Française de Milwaukee. Videos will remain on view once they are posted. In September, Claudia Orjuela will read Soñadores/Dreamers by Yuyi Morales in Spanish and English.

Seven Wednesdays, September 9-October 21, 2020 – 3-5 pm

Art Club is a virtual community of young artists who are independent in their art practice but value a place where they can exchange ideas and support and learn from each other. Students will design a long-term art project that they can pursue on their own, as time and interest permit. Weekly meetings will be devoted to check-ins and catch-ups, in-progress reviews, creative art challenges, and conversations about contemporary artists. Join our art community and share your work with Lynden art educator Jeremy Stepien and your peers.

Thursdays, September 10, 2020 (Nature’s Kitchen) & September 24, 2020 (Wearable Sculpture) – 10 am-11:30 am

Lynden’s Art + Nature Lab for children aged 4-6 integrates our collection of monumental outdoor sculpture with the natural ecology of our hidden landscapes and unique habitats. Join art educator and naturalist Claudia Orjuela for hands-on art making and all-senses-engaged exploration of the outdoor world at Lynden. Children and their caregivers are learning and discovering side by side. We will foster an environment that extends children’s thinking and wonder through play and inquiry, problem solving, experimentation, and manipulation of art materials. Different themes will connect Lynden’s environment and learning opportunities with children’s interests, broadening their sense of place as they expand their connections with the natural world and one another. Masks required for adults. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

Seven Thursdays, September 10-October 22, 2020 – 3-5 pm

Lynden’s hybrid Art + Nature Lab engages participants aged 7-11 in inquiry-based art and nature learning, problem solving, and creative making. Over the course of seven weeks, art educator Jeremy Stepien will guide you through a series of projects employing materials of your choice. Art + Nature Lab will meet outdoors at Lynden when weather permits, and on Zoom when it doesn’t (we will send out an alert each week, 24 hours in advance). IRL or on the screen, you can chat with your fellow artists, share your work, and explore the intersection of art and nature. Masks required for all participants. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

Saturday, September 12, 2020 – 11 am-12:30 pm
HOME: Conversations on Black Lives Matter

The Lynden and the HOME Refugee Steering Committee are extending the HOME series of Conversations on Displacement and the Arts to respond to the sequence of events marked by the murder of George Floyd and coinciding with the global Covid-19 pandemic. Looking beyond the slogan, HOME: Conversations on Black Lives Matter aims to acknowledge this significant moment and to explore its impact on and within refugee and immigrant communities. Participants in the first panel, moderated by Paul Vang, include Sumeya Osman, Biak Hlawn, Toslimah Kanahan, and Marcela Garcia.

Sunday, September 13, 2020 – 8:30-10 am

Join poet and birder Chuck Stebelton the second Sunday of each month for a small-group, socially distanced birdwalk on the grounds. Keeping to the perimeter of the garden, we’ll watch for fall migrants and resident bird species and seek out the best bird habitats to identify as many species as we can. Please dress for the weather and plan to walk in varied terrain. Bring your binoculars if you have them; no previous birding experience required. Masks required. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 & Thursday, September 17, 2020, 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 & Thursday, September 24, 2020, 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 10 am-4 pm

Join us for a personal, one-on-one, reflective indigo dip at the Lynden Sculpture Garden with artist-in-residence Kim Khaira. During your 45-minute session, Khaira will share her knowledge of natural dyeing with plant materials harvested at Lynden, and will provide a hands-on experience with indigo dyeing. With tools and materials provided to create an indigo vat, together we will develop our skill in creating specific hues with indigo. We will produce three variations of blue, and each participant will also receive a larger piece of cloth to create a blue of your choice. Newcomers to natural and indigo dyeing welcome, as well as long-time indigo practitioners. Dress for dyeing. Bring writing materials and water; masks are required.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 – 10 am-4 pm

Bring your canine friends for an afternoon of romping in the garden.

Saturday, September 19, 2020, 1-3 pm

Stroll Lynden’s grounds with Kyle Denton, herbalist and owner of Tippecanoe Herbs and Apothecary, and discover the bounty of plants found in the wilds of southeast Wisconsin. Drawing on folklore, ancient wisdom, plant identification, and science, Denton will expand your understanding of our relationship to the natural world. Masks required. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.


Watch for more indigo dye days, an edible tree walk, more birding with Chuck Stebelton, and a dog day. For children, October will see the last of our outdoor programs for the very young: Tuesdays in the Garden and Art + Nature Lab. Our monthly bilingual story time continues online, and we will offer the next installment in our HOME: Tables Across Borders Refugee Cooking Series.

We are grateful to all of you who have renewed your memberships, or made donations—or both!–in these pandemic months.

Stay well and take care of each other,

Recent Press Releases by Lynden Sculpture Garden

2020 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists Awarded

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