Pamela Williams-Lime said she’s looking forward to developing the educational outreach and community engagement programming at the Trout Museum of Art in downtown Appleton.
Williams-Lime assumed the role of the museum’s executive director in May. Previously, she had been the executive director of the International Wildlife Center of Wisconsin and the Windhover Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac.
During last week’s edition of Newsmakers, The Post-Crescent’s online issues program, Williams-Lime discussed what’s happening at the Trout Museum and what’s planned for 2013.
Here’s an edited transcript of the interview:
“Works on Paper” is the main exhibit on display. What is it?
There are several components to it. The first is German expressionism with the works of Fritz Faiss, and they’re pretty much defining one period of his artistic career, and that’s during the ’20s, predominantly focused on the woodblock prints he did through that period of time. That’s in our main gallery, as well as Pitseolak Ashoona’s stone prints. On the second floor of the gallery, we have some works on loan by the Boldt Co., celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the (Fox Cities) Performing Arts Center. They visually demonstrate the Performing Arts Center as it was being built. The artist who completed all those works was Tony Stadler.
The atrium has become a mini-gallery. How is it being used for that purpose?
A lot of times, what we’re displaying in the main galleries sort of spills over into the atrium. In this particular case, that is not happening, so it has afforded us the ability to showcase yet another artist’s work. The (Italian) artist’s name is Andrea Bucci. His works were traveling the United States and we had an opportunity to secure those to display them in the atrium.
What are the upcoming plans for the atrium?
Generally speaking, we curate an exhibit for the main galleries for three or four months, so the community thinks, “Well, I’ve been to the museum once during that period. I don’t need to go back again.” So having the atrium as an additional exhibition space affords us the opportunity to engage the community on a more frequent basis. And the goals for utilizing that space are to showcase individual artists, either local or from afar, to do special things, smaller exhibits. If a person in the community has a private collection that we think the community might be interested in, we can borrow it and showcase it in that space, also.
What’s your direction for the museum in 2013 in terms of exhibits?
Every other year, we invite artists who are members of the Trout Museum of Art to present their work in the museum. That will run from January through March and we’re hoping to have some dialogues with the artists and some programs that we’ll be conducting in the exhibit space. In April, we’re bringing an exhibit that we’re calling “Very Rarely Three.” That is, three generations of male artists — a grandfather, father and son. The grandfather is no longer living, the father lives in London and the son lives in California. And we’re pulling all their works together because, in the Trout Collection itself, we own at least one pieces of each of those men. We’re building off of that. It’s a really compelling exhibit. Then, we’re on the brink of (scheduling) a collection that will be coming to us that has never been shown in the state of Wisconsin.
What specific goals do you have for the museum in terms of membership and fundraising plans for 2013?
We just came off of a membership drive that was underwritten by Thrivent. They matched the dollars, which was really nice in the sense that it energized getting new members to the museum. And then, we will be adding some fundraising events to the calendar. Most people are aware of the Art at the Park event. We’re looking to expand that, and then some of the other fundraisers will be affiliated (with) the programs coming out of the exhibits we’re doing.
What would be your vision for the museum in 2013 in terms of any classes, programs, education, projects and any other community involvement?
The one thing we have not really done a good job with is the educational component of our mission. When we opened our doors as the Trout Museum of Art, we essentially opened as a new organization, and with that presents a lot of great opportunities for educational programming. A lot of what we’re trying to construct right now will be driven off of the exhibits we’re bringing in.
One of the new series at the museum is Jazz at the Trout, which is in its third season. It’s a way to celebrate the visual arts and music. What kind of reception has it had and what’s planned for the series in the future?
Music and art go hand in hand. This offers us an opportunity to introduce the Trout and our events and visual arts to people who are interested in music. We’ve seen some new faces come in through Jazz at the Trout. New memberships come in, sponsorship support for programs. We’ve been really pleased. There are five performances left — January through May. We encourage you to purchase tickets early because they have been sellouts.
Are there any other specific plans to help reconnect and “welcome home” community artists?
There are — engaging artists to teach classes and do the “Meet the Master” series, where artists actually talk about (their) work.
Why are community collaborations so important to the museum?
We’re looking for more of those kinds of opportunities because we are a community venue. If there are any ways we can partner with organizations, those are cost-savings mechanisms but they also increase the visibility of (the) organizations participating.
— Kara Patterson: 920-993-1000, ext. 215, or email@example.com; on Twitter @KaraNPatterson