Board Chair and Director's Message

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Irvin Lippman and Jody Grass

A Message from Board Chair Jody Harrison Grass and Executive Director Irvin Lippman:

It should never be underestimated the power of art to bring people together. Of course, during this period when we are taking great precautions in social distancing, we are pleased to once again be open to the public.  It is certainly not business as usual. But we find, since we reopened on June 3, visitors are coming with a new sense of purpose. They come to enjoy and escape with a period of some repose and maybe find ways to appreciate the Museum more than they ever have before.

We decided to welcome everyone back, the Museum would not charge admission through September 30.  We also changed our hours to make the Museum more accessible during the day – Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 am-7:00 pm with special hours for Members on  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 10:00 am; closed Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to the exhibitions which you can read about elsewhere in this website, we are introducing two new spaces: the Wolgin Education Center and the Jody Harrison Grass Lobby.  Both designed by the architectural firm Glavovic Studio greet you as you cross the threshold of the Museum and are immediately welcoming. The new Education Center becomes the cornerstone of our building and mission. Thanks to a gift from Pat and Nick Ohnell, we can now focus on a redesign of the sculpture garden. Now in the conceptual phase, we anticipate work to begin this summer with completion as we enter 2021 and the Museum’s 20th anniversary in Mizner Park.

Lastly, though Maren Hassinger’s Tree of Knowledge installation has come down, it had a wonderful run and received much critical attention. It was noted by Boca Magazine as the best exhibition in 2020. Among the reviews was an article in Hyperallergic (February 17, 2020) by Monica Uszerowicz, who writes about the collaboration between the artist and the Pearl City community to create a version of the banyan tree located in this historically important Black neighborhood only three blocks from the Museum. Known locally as the Tree of Knowledge, Maren interpreted it with streamers of newspapers twisted and knotted by community volunteers. Monica asked Maren “about the inherent physiological connection between a community and its landscape - between the roots of a tree and whomever first tended them.” To which the artist replied, “There absolutely is that connection. In the beginning, there wasn’t any of this division. We are nature. What else is there?”

We look forward to welcoming you back to our galleries and to partake in our virtual programming.

The Museum makes community.