Friends of the Institute has been very privileged to work with an outstanding Mia administration and staff. We are grateful for the leadership of Kaywin Feldman, the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of Mia, and we are thankful for the guidance of Julianne Amendola, Mia’s Chief Advancement Officer. Their contribution to Friends cannot be overstated.
The Friends greatly appreciate our invaluable Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen. Kate was instrumental in helping Katie through her first year as Friends president. Kate has an ever-ready smile and quick laugh that amplifies her organizational skills and ability to keep the Friends office running smoothly.
This year we were fortunate to have great support in the office with two very capable Project Assistances, Jackie Figueroa and Frannie Kuhs. Their contribution enabled Friends to put on a very smooth Art in Bloom. Thank you.
We are also thankful for our strong Friends affiliate groups in Rochester and St. Cloud. These members help us support Mia through their networks of friends who enjoy the many benefits of the museum through group tours of Mia’s collection and curator lectures. We thank them for their important community leadership on our behalf.
I now want to recognize our wise and talented past presidents. Will you please stand when I call your name: Carol Burton Grey, Suzanne Payne, Carolyn Dahl, and Connie Sommers. Thank you for joining us today and thank you for your contribution to Friends. CLAP.
Friends of the Institute had a very eventful year. Here are a few of the highlights:
Two weeks ago we were in the midst of Art in Bloom. This was our 35th year celebrating art and flowers. The event brought more than 52,000 visitors to Mia. I want to recognize our co-chairs Lezlie Pinske and Barbara Proeschel; the Art in Bloom committee; all the volunteers, patrons and the Mia staff who make this event possible.
Art in Bloom was filled with energy and beauty, but the biggest star of the event was Mia’s new acquisition and Art in Bloom’s signature piece of art, Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums.” In celebration of Friends 100th anniversary in 2022, Friends was given the opportunity to raise the funds needed to acquire this masterpiece. Last year Patrick Noon, Mia’s curator of paintings, and the world’s leading expert on Delacroix, learned of its availability and confirmed its authenticity as a Delacroix. It had never before been displayed publically. Kaywin Feldman and Patrick Noon immediately thought this picture would be a perfect way for Friends to celebrate our upcoming centennial. I am happy to announce we are well on our way to our fundraising goal, thanks to lead donations by Friends members Nivin MacMillan, Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn, Sheila Morgan, Mary and Douglas Olson, Nikki Lewis an many others, With ongoing fundraising, we expect to reach our goal by our Friends Centennial Celebration in 2022.
Each year we work hard to enhance our endowed Transportation Fund through our Buy-A-Bus campaign, and this year was no exception. We brought 121 buses filled with 5121 school children to Mia for a docent or art adventure guide led tour, and that number does not include our busiest months of May and June. We can be proud of the numbers of lives we touch with this program, exposing young minds to our world-class collection at Mia.
The Friends continued the tradition of providing nine exceptional lectures, free to the public, the second Thursday of the month, September through May. The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund generously support two of these lectures. Speakers this year were diverse as always, and ranged from Apollo art magazine’s editor Thomas Marks, to tattoo scholar and historian Anna Felicity Friedman.
The Friends monthly Newsletter Committee continues to deliver a very informative monthly online newsletter to our members. This year we added a special edition dedicated exclusively to Art in Bloom. All tickets for Art in Bloom events were a simple click away.
Those of you who are Friends members enjoyed some special perks including Friends Only Events.
In the fall, we held a Friends 101 class informing members about our organization, followed by a behind the scenes look at rarely seen Andy Warhol prints in the Prints and Drawing Library, given by Mia’s curator of Prints and Drawings, Tom Rassier.
Our Friends Only Committee planned and executed five Friends only tours, including Mia’s new China Gate, highlights of Mia’s collection of jewelry and curator led tours of Eyewitness Views, I am Somali, and Horse Power. Our sixth Friends Only tour is scheduled for Tuesday June 12th at 11 AM. Marla Kinney, Fellow in the Mia’s Prints and Drawing Department will led us through the exhibit “The Rabble-rouser and the Homebody: Minnesota’s Elizabeth Olds and Wanda Gag”. Please join us!
Friends Only Book Club met monthly for lively book discussions, docent led tours and refreshments.
The Outreach Committee started a new program with members becoming Picture People for the Art Adventure program. Friends volunteers went into the schools as Picture People and chaperoned the students at Mia for their guided tours. Friends also donated art supplies to these students.
On Wednesday June 6, Friends will embark on the Art and Architecture tour of Washington, DC. The itinerary includes exclusive tours and receptions of great museums and government buildings, plus the trip is a great opportunity to enjoy friendships and camaraderie.
Again, this is a short list, but you can tell from all that goes on here, being a Friends member is a tremendous opportunity to enjoy the museum, build friendships and be part of something that enhances our communities. I strongly encourage you to think about joining us, if you are not already a member.
Thursday, September 28, 2017 Johan van Parys, Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts The Basilica of St. Mary
Johan van Parys, Ph.D is the Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. His book Symbols That Surround Us was published in 2012. He teaches in the School of Theology at St. John’s University. He is the current chair and founding member of the Minnesota chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.
Drinks and appetizers at 5:30PM, docent-led tour at 6:00PM, and talk at 7:15PM.
Tickets are $45 and will be available by calling Mia at 612.870.6323. Tickets will go on sale August 28.
Each month free tickets are available for lectures presented by the Friends of the Institute. For members of the Friends, tickets are available on the 15th of the month previous to the lecture and to the general public, tickets are available on the 17th of the month. Reserve your tickets at artsmia.org or by calling 612.870.6323.
Friends Only pre-lecture tours are also held throughout the season. You may request the pre-lecture tour when you register for the Dr. Thomas Marks Lecture of September 14, 2017. Your lecture ticket will indicate both lecture and tour attendance. The same procedure applies to all lectures and all pre-lecture tours.
Tours begin promptly at 10AM and you are asked to arrive early at Mia in the Third Avenue Lobby under the Chihuly Sun. Tour participants will receive reserved seating for the lecture at the end of the tour.
Please be courteous and call if you must cancel your tour as we anticipate waiting lists. You may cancel by calling 612.870.6323.
Lectures to educate, inform, and enlighten. Additional information and lecture titles will be available in the September Newsletter
The Friends Lecture Committee is pleased to announce the upcoming Lecture Series for the coming2017-2018 year. All lectures are held in the Pillsbury Auditorium and begin promptly at 11AM. Friends members may reserve their tickets for the lectures on the 15th of each month prior to the lecture. The lectures may be reserved by the public on the 17th of each month prior to the lecture. Please call the Mia ticket office to reserve at 612.870.6323.
Dr. Thomas Marks
Apollo Magazine – Editor
Mia – Contemporary Art Curator
Mia – Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Japanese and Korean Art
Mia – James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture
Mia – Curator and Head of the Department of Photography and New Media
Mia – Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings
Anna Felicity Friedman
Tattoo Scholar and Historian
New Cities Foundation, Executive Director
The September and May lectures are sponsored by Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund, and are presented by the Friends of the Institute and Mia.
Join us on September 14, 2017, for the opening lecture of the 2017-2018 Friends Lecture Series, featuring Dr. Thomas Marks. This lecture is sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund and is presented by the Friends and Mia.
Since 2013, Dr. Thomas Marks has been at the helm of Apollo as its editor. Any art aficionado will be aware of the art magazine Apollo, founded in 1925. Apollo is recognized for its access to eminent art collectors, critical essays, and above all unprecedented reporting of prominent artists of our time. Previous to this, Marks was the Deputy Editor at Apollo.
Mark’s education speaks highly of his ability to lead this historic publication. He holds degrees from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge with a Master of Studies in Romantic and Victorian Literature; and a DPhil on Victorian poetry and architecture from Magdalen College, Oxford. His writings regarding art and literature have been published in Literary Supplement,Times, New Statesman, and The Telegraph. Dr. Marks currently teaches 19th and 20th century culture and literature at the University of Oxford.
While at Apollo, Marks has propelled the Apollo website into an influential forum for daily art comments, reviews and news. He has also established Apollo 40 Under 40, a publication acknowledging up and coming talented young artists.
Free tickets are available for this lecture starting August 15 to Friends members through artsmia.org or 612.870.6323. Tickets are available August 17 for the general public. Overflow seating is available in the Wells Fargo Room.
First Friends Luncheon to be held September 14, 2017 following the lecture.
Please join the Friends following the lecture on September 14, 2017 in the Reception Hall, Target Wing for a delicious fall luncheon.
You may request a vegetarian option when you reserve. The menu will be available in the September Newsletter.
Reservations open on Tuesday, August 15. To RSVP call 612.870.6323 . The 2017-18 Friends Luncheons cost is $30 inclusive of tax and gratuity. All reservations must be received by 5PM Wednesday, September 6, 2017.
Tell Mia Friends a little about you. Where are you from? Who’s in your family?
I grew up in Mankato and met my husband Steve during college. We graduated from St. Ben’s and St. John’s. My husband and I have two children. Our daughter Kelley is married and lives in New York City, along with my precious two grandchildren, Elyse and Jacob. Our son Mike lives here in Minneapolis, so we get to see him more often. How did you become so passionate about Mia? And, how did you become our latest president?
After becoming empty nesters, Steve and I moved into the city of Minneapolis from the suburbs. While having lunch with some of my new neighborhood friends, one of them mentioned how much she enjoyed being an Art Adventure guide at Mia — and applications for the next class were due in two weeks! This seemed like a great way to combine my love for art and experience working with children in elementary schools.
My passion toward Mia developed through relationships I had with my Art Adventure classmates and the art educators of Mia. The last day of class, one of our classmates, Linda Goldenberg, announced to us that all of us should consider becoming members of Friends. Upon joining, it soon became clear to me that Friends is a big part of why the guide program is so strong at Mia, and I wanted to be part of that.
My first Board position was co-chair of Plants and Flowers and after other Board positions, I co-chaired Art in Bloom 2014 with Julie Holland. That experience showed me that I enjoy being a part of a big event, and seeing it through. I also came to see that an event like Art in Bloom only happens through the hard work of many people – and it was fun! What is your favorite work of art in the museum?
I was anticipating this question, and it is always a hard one for me to answer. There are so many lovely pieces at Mia, that my favorite tends to change often. Today, I would say my favorite piece is Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os An Arrangement with Flowers. It has flowers, colors, and although it is a still life, it has movement. What is your favorite Mia event and why do you love it?
Art in Bloom, of course! It brings the community into the museum and introduces spring to Minnesota every year. What are five things you can’t live without?
Gatherings with friends
Time with my grandchildren
Traveling to far away places
Good wine and good food–oops, that is six!
What are the three things you would want a newcomer to Mia to see or do in the museum?
First, watch children getting off their buses and gathering for their Art Adventure tours. There is so much energy concentrated in these kids. They are so excited to be at the museum.
Second, walk around the galleries on slow afternoons, spending time looking at art.
Third, attend a Friends lecture. They never disappoint!
Bring the joys of art to schoolchildren with Mia’s unique program.
If you love art and kids, then come be an Art Adventure Picture Person in Mia’s own backyard, no prior experience needed. Mia brings this successful program to Whittier International Baccalaureate School, one of Mia’s neighbors and elementary school partners. The Friends are pleased to be part of this important outreach.
Here’s how easy it is to become involved in this fabulous program: Late September/Early October: Attend a free, two-hour Art Adventure training at Mia, where you’ll learn about a themed set of six pieces of art and how to spark discussion about them with young children. Over three consecutive weeks between October and November: You’ll be teamed with two or three other volunteers and assigned to a classroom. Teams will meet at Whittier School (a block away from Mia) where a Mia staff member will be waiting with your artwork and props. During each 1-hour visit, you’ll share two pieces of artwork from your set. Teachers will remain in the room to supervise the kids. Between November and January: You’ll also have the option of meeting up with the kids from your classroom at Mia when they take a chaperoned field trip to visit the artwork you shared with them. All fun, no work!
All dates will be finalized by the end of August in coordination with Mia and Whittier, and we’ll communicate these with you before asking for your official commitment. If you’ve ever been an Art Adventure guide or Picture Person before, you already know how enriching this is for all involved. If you’ve never done it, please sign up to discover this for yourself. You can volunteer with a friend, or get paired with a new one.
Interested? Curious? To add your name to the list of prospective volunteers, receive final program dates, and for more information, please contact Nancy McRae at email@example.com, or 612.240.3774.
These events are open to everyone, so bring a friend, and meet up with Friends!
The Friends of the Institute are excited to introduce a brand new series, The Art of Power/The Power of Art. The Friends Outreach Committee, started this year and led by board members Molly Van Metre and Nancy McRae, is reaching out to organizations that share the values of the Friends. The goal of this group is to share information and grow membership.
The committee has begun to develop relationships with the American Swedish Institute, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra and The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and we look forward to more associations in the coming year.
We’re excited about collaborating with these like-minded organizations to bring our respective members together to celebrate arts and culture. To that end, we plan to arrange a number of gatherings for the Friends, with varying venues and goals .
Two events were already held this summer in partnership with The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Lyndel King, Director of the Weisman Art Museum spoke on July 28, and Deb Pierce, retired Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI spoke on August 10. Cocktails, appetizers and an optional dinner were served.
Watch for more information on the Friends website and by email. We encourage you to bring a friend to each event.
You’ve joined Mia and the Friends, but do you ever wish you had someone to share your perceptions of art with? Now you do! The Friends Only Book Club meets once a month (except December and May-August) for an Inspired by Books docent-led tour and discussion.
On Friday, September 15, we’ll meet for a docent-led tour at 10:30AM, then discuss Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, (paperback ed. 2013) at 11:30AM over coffee, tea, and treats in the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation Studio, (114). Fahrenheit 451 was first published in 1951 when Americans feared the advance of communism. It tells of a fireman whose job is to find and burn books, his wife who lives vicariously through the then-new television, and a young woman who reads and thinks independently. The 2013 introduction calls it “speculative fiction,” a still-relevant description of what might happen if we cease questioning and simply absorb information.
Won’t you join us? Drop into The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation Studio (114). No RSVP is required for book club.
Future Friends Only book club dates and books are:
Friday, October 13 for art and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
Friday, November 10, we’ll consider Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn with Ada Calhoun.