Best wishes for a wonderful Spring! As we wrap up the height of our season we can reflect on the enormous energy that the programs have engendered this year. With visitation up a solid 5% and more classes being filled, there is a great deal of momentum at play. Our current exhibitions, The Golden Age of European Painting from the Speed Art Museum, Recycled Dreams: Pablo Cano's Marionettes, and Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, which have been very well attended and which have received many kudos, will continue on view until May and June. Thereafter, we open our summer exhibitions: Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye and Along the Road: Paintings of the Highwaymen. Watch your mail for your invitation to the Members' opening reception on the evening of June 28.
Within the past few months, we completed the cycle of the International Lecture Series, the Distinguished Professor Series, the ACO Chamber Music Series and Opera Studies. We offered a very special winemaker dinner with award-winning guest Chef Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL and vintner John Komes of Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, who together provided an intimate 5 course paired wine dinner that was truly a show-stopper, thanks to co-chairs Laura Buck and Robert Hoffman. This year's gala, A Feast for the Masters, was very successful on every front and a truly beautiful event thanks to our wonderful chairs Susan McCord and Debbie Berghorst, the gala committee and all who supported the event, and Art in Bloom wowed visitors with magnificent and vibrant displays of floral arrangements by exceptional designers inspired by selected works from the permanent collection. The Art in Bloom Luncheon, which included a demonstration by Jane Godshalk was attended by close to 500 guests. Film Studies classes and Concerts in the Park continue into April. The 32nd annual Children's Art Festival on April 27, along with the Indian River County Juried Student Exhibition are just around the corner as is registration for the 2013 Summer Art Camp for children and the summer term for Adult classes. Please be sure to mark your calendars for the Museum's Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 25.
While we can celebrate our accomplishments this season, we do not have our heads in the sand as we monitor the impact of the political and economic climate that we all are living within. As individuals and as a cultural institution we must continue to advocate for the significance that art and culture has in the well-being of our society.
On staff we welcome Mark Parrish, who joined us as Chief Preparator, Arthur Jewett, who was instrumental as project manager on the recent construction, has stepped in as our permanent appointment for Director of Facilities.
The Museum, as the hub of cultural activity in the community, contributes significantly to the quality of life for our residents and visitors to the region. As we continue to build upon our strengths, we thank you for your past, present and continued support.
Lucinda H. Gedeon, Ph.D.