Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guest Blogger: Tommie Rodgers

Come On In!

If you haven’t visited the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art lately, you’ve missed out on a variety of events, most of which are free to the public. In recent weeks, we’ve gone from rock n’ roll photos of the ʼ60s to string quartet and orchestra performances to art quilt constructions! The galleries were busy with daily summer crowd averages of 100 people a day.

This month has been equally busy with Third Grade Tours for all area third grade children. Instruction for these groups focuses on viewing the Native American baskets with discussions of how 19th century Native Americans lived, along with the opportunity to work on a weaving activity.

The Museum staff is excited to see the Star Reach Fifth Graders again this year. Their tours will focus on the non-objective sculptures of David Hayes. While you may see some of his sculptures on the grounds of the Museum, you are welcome to come in and view the maquettes and accompanying paintings that will be on display until November 11th. The Fifth Graders will also be viewing Quilt National and learning about art quilts, their fabrics, methods of construction and the interpretive meaning of some of the quilts.

All teachers and students are welcome to come for tours and specially-designed activities that will enhance your classroom needs. The Museum also has art videos that can be shared with area teachers.

Time is certainly ticking by this year and the Museum will be celebrating its 85th anniversary next May. It’s hard to believe we’re so close to yet another milestone in the Museum’s existence. Many changes have taken place in the 84 years of the Museum’s history, most of which are behind the scenes. It’s entirely possible that a visitor can walk in, view the art work, attend a lecture and leave without ever thinking of how it all comes about.

To make things happen, staff and Board members create and follow policies that govern the Museum’s operations. Policies such as the Collections Management Policy and the Ethics Policy guide the committees in their actions and planning for the Museum. Our Board of Directors compose the committees that make general decisions and guide the staff on issues that aren’t always clear cut.

The committees consist of Collections, Programs and Exhibitions, Property, Finance, Personnel, Development, Long Range Planning and the newly formed Audit Committee. These committees meet four times a year just days before the quarterly Board meetings. Staff members whose jobs parallel these topics meet with the committees and together work to follow and/or augment the policy each has to guide its decisions.

Of course, increasing attendance is always a topic for discussion and we work to invite groups whenever possible. We recently hosted tours for the Laurel Fire and Police Departments and would like to extend an invitation to other places of employment. If you find your office is getting a little slow, give your employees a boost and send them to the Museum for a visit. A person can easily tour the Museum in just under an hour and, as an employer, you’ll be teaching the community about the “gem” that out-of-towners already know about. Admission is always free.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street and is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. You can check out our web site at www.LRMA.org or call the Museum at 601-649-6374 for information about programs and events.

Tommie Rodgers is the Registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

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