After feeling awed and happily overwhelmed by the warm welcome from students, faculty, and staff, as well as fellow arts and cultural directors in the Roanoke region, I am settling in to my first summer at Hollins University and looking forward to an exciting schedule of fall exhibitions. With big thanks to the dedicated museum staff (Laura Jane Ramsburg, Janet Carty, and Michelle VanVliet) and conscientious faculty who have stepped in as curators (Elise Schweitzer and Jennifer D. Anderson), I came on board as director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum with almost a full year of exhibits in place. This has given me the chance to get to know people and places in the community, familiarize myself with the museum's permanent collection, and plan exhibits into 2016 and beyond.
Our busy summer schedule included a stellar exhibit of works by Robert Kushner and three collaborative exhibits with Hollins' Women Working with Clay Symposium, the M.F.A. Dance program, and the M.F.A. in Children's Book Writing and Illustration and Certificate in Children's Book Illustration. We are looking forward to presenting three provocative exhibits featuring contemporary figurative paintings by Scott Noel, works by artists inspired by the printed word (as found in classic books and poems, comic books, and newspapers), and a site-specific monofilament sculpture by Andi Steele.
Look for changes in the public open hours for the museum, Saturday programs, and a bigger presence on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We are always available and open for Hollins University students, faculty, and staff; however, we also want to become more accessible to our community audience. To that end, beginning in October, we will be open Thursday evening and both Saturday and Sunday. We hope to lure you to the Museum with creative programs that enhance the exhibits on view, and keep you coming back as friends of Hollins University and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.
Jenine Culligan, Director