Executive Director's Message
This past fiscal year has been one of the busiest I recall in my ten years as Director, and also was most successful on many fronts. A blistering cold winter drove many more people to our fair town this season, and there was much talk about the plethora of activities creating an intensely packed calendar for all. It's good to have things slow down a bit, but summer will remain active at the Museum as noted throughout this website.
As we close our fiscal year and anticipate the next, we can look back at a rich diversity of exhibitions. The exhibition of Highwaymen paintings was an exceptional celebration of this legendary group of African American artists' work that captured a romantic vision of Florida that appeals to a broad and diverse audience. Cuban Art & Identity: 1900-1950 was also a homerun and claimed by many to be one of the best exhibitions of this material ever presented. Simply Beautiful: Photographs from National Geographic was a huge hit among visitors of all ages, and Picturing America: Signature Works from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art presented some of the best work by some of America's best artists over a period of 200 years. In addition, Dale Kennington's screen paintings won the hearts of many visitors, as did the artist herself at a special luncheon in her honor this past January.
In addition to significant gifts from private collectors, the Athena Society voted to purchase two diverse works: Jack Tworkov's abstract expressionist painting, Bar Decoration I, (1963-64) and John Sloan's Reddy in the Cellar (1917), both filling important gaps in our permanent holdings.
We have a very special exhibtion offering this summer: Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic. Wick has made his mark as a brilliant author, creator, and photographer of the book series titled Can You See What I See?, in addition to being co-creator and photographer of the I Spy series. Among the country's most successful and popular illustrators, his children's books guide his readers on an adventure of discovery. We are most confident that children and adults will enjoy this exhibition immensely. In conjunction with the exhibition the Museum will be engaging children in an "Eyes See" art and riddle contest, creating collages and dioramas inspired by Wick's books. Contest winners will receive signed copies of his latest book and an opportunity to meet the artist in the exhibition gallery.
There is also an exhibition of glass wworks and works on paper drawn from the permanent collection. Many of the works in this exhibition were given to the Museum by Harvey Littleton (1922-2013), the father of the American studio glass movement, and with this show we salute Harvey, who passed away on December 13, 2013, for his tremendous contributions to the glass and printmaking worlds.
Children's Summer Art Camp registration is open and we are offering a number of adult evening classes as well. For families and children, we offer treasure hunts in the galleries, gallery drawing kits, Stroller Tours, Turtle Tours, and Artful Storytime reading program. Check times and dates on the website or by calling 772.231.0707.
While the streets and restaurants during the summer in Vero Beach are a little less crowded, the Museum remains a hub of activity. We look forward to a very productive summer and for those who remain in Vero Beach we hope you will join us and take advantage of all we have to offer. Best wishes to all in the months ahead.
Lucinda H. Gedeon, Ph.D.