Traveling Exhibit on Puppeteer Jim Henson Coming to Michigan | Michigan News


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — A traveling exhibit about the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson is coming to Michigan starting next month.

The exhibit called “The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited” will open at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn from June 5 to September 6.

The interactive display will delve into his work on “The Muppets,” “Sesame Street,” “Fraggle Rock,” and “Labyrinth.” It’ll feature puppets, scripts, storyboard and costumes. Henson died in 1990.

“This exhibition explores Henson’s unique contributions to the moving image, and how he and a talented team of designers, performers, and writers created an unparalleled body of work that continues to delight and inspire people of all ages,” said a news release from the museum.

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Allegany Museum hosts traveling exhibit on democracy, voting | Local News


CUMBERLAND — A traveling exhibit that opened to the public Saturday at Allegany Museum melds local and national elements to examine the country’s history of voting and civic engagement.

The museum was selected through Maryland Humanities’ “Museums on Main Street” program to display the “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” traveling Smithsonian exhibit. Allegany County is one of five counties selected statewide to host the display in 2021.

Maryland Humanities board member and local resident Mary Kay Finan said the museum was “lucky” to have been selected to host the display. The exhibit will remain at the museum for six weeks.

“We know that Maryland has many stories to explore, and they connect to the exhibit themes,” Finan said.

In addition to the Smithsonian display, which examines the country’s history of voting and more, companion exhibits feature the photography and political button collection of local historian Albert Feldstein. For the latter, the museum partnered with Frostburg State University, which owns Feldstein’s buttons.

Feldstein’s photos on display cover 40 years of protests in Allegany County, from more recent happenings like the rallies held on the downtown mall in the summer of 2020 in support of George Floyd and law enforcement, respectively, to older demonstrations like the three days of protests in October 2004 that followed the removal of a monument of the Ten Commandments from the grounds of the county courthouse. The monument was eventually returned.

There’s another local connection, too. Two Frostburg students, sophomore Max Hancock and senior Jessica Thayer, are included in the Smithsonian exhibit.

They shared their respective reasoning for being civically engaged in videos that are included as part of the display, which will travel the country through 2026.

Frostburg President Ronald Nowaczyk, who also serves as a Maryland Humanities board member, noted the campus history of civic engagement, and spoke to the greater importance of the exhibit.

“During these times, when citizenship and civic engagement are under so much scrutiny and debate, initiatives such as the Maryland Humanities Museum on Main Street (program) with exhibits like this remind us of the importance of civic responsibility,” Nowaczyk said. “I will tell you that as a president and an individual who grew up in the 60s, the student activism we’re seeing is reminding me what it was when I was a student. I’m on the other side of the desk now.”

In his video, Hancock, who is transgender, spoke of how experiences in high school led him to activism in the form of serving as the president of his campus Gay-Straight Alliance. Hancock told the Times-News that, while he didn’t originally intend to keep up his activist work in college, that hasn’t been the case.

“I was like ‘Well, this seems to be something I can’t avoid,’” Hancock, an economics major, said. “I”m being pulled in many directions, most notably toward public advocacy.”

Hancock said he’s excited to have a platform to provide representation and encouragement to other transgender youth. Despite having some trepidation, he said, he feels generally positive about the experience.

“There’s a lot of pressure on every trans person when they come out to be the one who explains being trans to all of their peers, all of their friends, all of their family. And that is a ridiculous thing to ask of people,” Hancock said. “So, to any extent that I can do that for people, I think I will be essentially performing my civic duty in a way that not a lot of other people have the chance to do, and it would be selfish of me not to provide that support for my peers.”

Thayer, a triple major in law, political science, and philosophy, said she feels it’s her role to use her privilege and her platform for the good of others. “One voice can change a million hearts and minds,” she said.

“As a white cis woman, I’ve benefitted from a lot of the things that history has handed down to me,” Thayer said. “I think that it is not only my civic duty to advocate for others to vote and to get out and be engaged, but also to look at the issues that lie deeper, to look at the reason that I’m able to stand here today and the privilege that I have, and use my platform to reach out to others who don’t have that same privilege. It’s using my voice not only as a guide for my future and for others like me, but making sure that I’m taking everyone along with me.”





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Local News: Traveling exhibit comes to Le Mars (1/13/21)


(Photo Contributed)
Jean Weiner, watercolor artist from Le Mars, is one of three area artists with pieces displayed in the in The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) Traveling Exhibit, the annual Juried Exhibition, currently at the Le Mars Arts Center.

LE MARS — The Le Mars Arts Center is once again hosting The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) Traveling Exhibit.

Each fall, the IWS sponsors a juried exhibition with monetary awards. The IWS accepts entries in water media on watercolor paper, and awards the finest in watercolor in the state of Iowa. From this exhibit, a traveling show is created and provides outreach around the state.

The Le Mars Arts Center is on the tour of this annual exhibit, which features the center’s own Adult Watercolor Instructor Jean Weiner, and local artists Melissa Van Egdom and Connie Luhman.

The exhibit is on display through Jan. 30.

“Having a painting selected for the IWS annual traveling show is a great honor,” said Weiner. “This body of work is a smaller subset chosen by the juror/judge from the IWS annual show. The traveling show works become ambassadors for the medium of watercolor as they travel across the state, bringing the beauty of watercolor to a wider audience.”

She continued that Juror/Judge Frank Eber, AWS, NWS, judged the exhibition by viewing the paintings in person during the Iowa Watercolor Society 43rd annual exhibition when he was in Perry, to conduct two watercolor workshops for Iowa Watercolor Society in September 2020.

Eber was also the juror for the annual show.

“Iowa Watercolor Society member artists submit a digital image of the painting(s), they wish to enter for consideration, following the guidelines of the society’s prospectus/call for entry. The juror then reviews those images and selects the paintings for the annual show,” Weiner said.

Weiner’s entry, “Chino,” is an original 22” x 30” transparent watercolor, and features a real life sea lion named Chino that lives at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.

“He was enjoying a relaxing glide in his pavilion pool on the day my family visited. Sunlight sparkled on the water and across his head and I knew I’d want to try my hand at painting him,” Weiner said.

“Chino” received fifth place and a monetary award in this annual show.

Van Egdom, who lives in Hull, said getting into the traveling show is an honor. Her entry is “For the Love of Ewe,” a 15” x 22” piece.

“’For the Love of Ewe’ is a painting based on a photo I took in my family’s lambing barn of my dad working the babies. The title is a twist of words, hopefully making the viewer look a little longer to see the momma ewe looking for her baby and it’s also about my love for my dad and his love to his children,” Van Egdom said.

She said her favorite subjects to paint are animals.

“I love painting animals and have been doing commission pieces for clients for a few years. To capture the personality of each family pet and create something they cherish is a wonderful way to share my talent with others,” Van Egdom said.

She loves working in watercolor.

“I love the challenge that watercolor creates. You need to constantly think of where you want your highlights and work at building the colors on top of each other to develop dimension in the painting. In the end you want your main subject to ‘glow’ and really pull the viewer in,” she said.

Luhman, who lives in Sergeant Bluff, took her first painting class in 2007, and has studied under various local and international artists.

Her piece in the exhibit is, “Grandma’s Tulips,” a 30” x 22” watercolor on 300-lb. cold pressed paper.

“This was my only submission for the exhibit this year. The pigments are professional grade watercolor pigments. I have a simple pallet of a triad of red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors of orange, green and violet are achieved by mixing the pigments of the triad,” Luhman explained.

She said she thoroughly enjoys the fluid nature of painting with watercolors.

“I can achieve secondary and tertiary colors right on the paper as the water moves the pigment and allows them to mix and mingle. I also have learned over the course of my career using watercolor, that there are ways to ‘fix’ whatever I am not completely satisfied with.

“I love how transparent watercolor allows first washes to shine through subsequent washes if care is taken to allow previous layers to dry thoroughly,” she continued.

Luhman said she has not become a fan of any particular subject matter.

“I love subjects that allow for light to dance on the subject and produce varied areas of interest for the viewer. I always want to have the viewer in mind,” she said.

Being chosen to be a part of the traveling exhibit is an honor for Luhman.

“It is always a great honor to have a work in an exhibit. It is especially wonderful to be a part of a traveling exhibit. So many more viewers to learn to appreciate the medium,” Luhman continued. “We watercolorists have so much to show the viewer about the possibilities of watercolor. I often get this statement, ‘That’s Watercolor?’ So, most don’t realize that this medium is a true contender in the art world.”

Weiner, who lives in Le Mars, has been painting professionally with watercolors since 2005. She exhibits, competes, and sells her work nationally and has won numerous awards.

“I love that painting with watercolor requires a thoughtful and strategic plan for saving the light. After saving the light (white paper), through applying subsequent transparent layers of paint to gradually build the medium and dark values, the final work remains luminous,” Weiner said.

She is drawn to paint varied subject matter, from still life, wildlife, to figurative work.

“The common denominator in the subjects I choose to paint is light. The subjects I paint are bathed in light!,” she said.

“Having a painting selected for the IWS annual traveling show is a great honor. This body of work is a smaller subset chosen by the juror/judge from the IWS annual show. The traveling show works become ambassadors for the medium of watercolor as they travel across the state, bringing the beauty of watercolor to a wider audience,” she added.

Gallery and gift shop hours at the Le Mars Arts Center are 1-5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-7 p.m., Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The center is closed Sunday and Monday. For special requests, call the center at 546-7476.



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