Rotating Exhibits

“Gillian” by Stephanie Evans.

On Saturday, the Miller Art Museum (MAM) in Sturgeon Bay will host an opening reception for its final changing exhibit of 2014, Hands In Clay. The exhibit will feature dozens of pieces of pottery, representing a cross-section of Door County potters and their creations.

Each year, the museum mounts seven changing exhibits “to explore the full array of media and expression, hoping to stimulate, educate, and inspire visitors of all ages.” This year’s other exhibits have included pop-up children’s books, high school art, classical and contemporary drawings, artwork based on travel, and the annual juried exhibit.

With the variety of media and artists represented in this year’s exhibits, one might wonder how the MAM goes about choosing its exhibits. Curator of Exhibits and Collections Deborah Rosenthal refers to it as an “organic” process that sometimes takes several years to come together.

The museum regularly collects ideas from its staff, membership and volunteers, and keeps a file of suggested ideas from artists in the community. They also regularly receive information from Door County artists.

“There is no one source of exhibits but people who have come up with exhibits who are promoting various artists or concepts or ideas,” Rosenthal said. “For example, I have three or four different contacts that have been made in the last six weeks or so of organizations and people looking for connections so we really just accumulate ideas until the pieces come together.”

MAM begins working on exhibits two years in advance of when they will be put on display and over those couple of years, the pieces usually fall into place. The result? Exhibits that showcase the talents of not only Door County artists and writers, but those across the state and nation as well.