Latest from The Spokesman-Review
NATURE – An exhibition featuring the pioneering naturalist who collected and catalogued Northwest flora and fauna is approaching the end of its run at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.
David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work will close Aug. 25 so it can be shipped to the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.
Douglas, a Scottish naturalist, traveled the Columbia River and interior Northwest (1825-1833), identifying and collecting more than 200 species of plants, animals, and birds previously unknown to science. Native species such as the Douglas fir bear his name.
The locally curated exhibit features rare botanical books and artwork, species mounts, original plant specimens that Douglas collected and pressed on loan from The Herbarium and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (London, England).
Families with children can become explorer/naturalists themselves with the exhibit's interactive features.
Guest curators, Jack and Claire Nisbet contributed to a companion website with selections from Douglas’s journals and letters.
Jack Nisbet’s illustrated books, “The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest,” and “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” are available at the Museum Store.
The MAC is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CONSERVATION — Estelle Leopold is scheduled to be in Spokane on Saturday at the Museum of Arts and Culture for a screening of a dumentary about her father and renoun conservationist, Aldo Leopold.
Enjoy a book signing with the Leopold, who's written a book about her family, and enjoy beer and wine for the viewing of Green Fire.
When: Saturday (March 10) from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Green Fire, the first full-length, high-definition documentary film about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold, sold out last year at the Riverfront IMAX Theater.
The late Leopold, known as the father of modern wildlife management, shares highlights from his extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement.
Leopold is the author of A Sand County Almanac, which should be required reading for everyone who steps foot outdoors.
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture's annual ArtFest event will stay put in Browne’s Addition in 2012.
Museum officials had pondered moving the art, food and music festival from Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition to the larger Riverfront Park downtown.
The Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council viewed the prospect with alarm and called a meeting Wednesday night to voice concerns.
Forrest Rodgers, the MAC’s new executive director, talked to neighborhood representatives and said Thursday that ArtFest will remain at Coeur d’Alene Park next year.
The final numbers are in for “Leonardo da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius.”
About 38,000 people attended this summer-long traveling exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).
It came close to the museum’s attendance goals and more than met its financial goals, according to the people at the MAC.
The final week – the week before Labor Day – was particularly strong, attracting 6,500 people.
“There were lines out the front door and even out in the street,” said museum spokeswoman Rebecca Bishop.
The MAC would have liked to have broken the 40,000-visitor mark set by the “T. rex Named Sue” exhibit in 2007. However, the T. rex exhibit charged regular museum admission while the da Vinci exhibit had special (higher) pricing.
“Leonardo” was also a hit with schools. A total of 3,400 people visited as part of school groups.
The MAC also signed up 500 new members over the exhibit’s span.
Here’s a different, and potentially delicious, fundraising idea from the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC): the “Week of 100 Dinners.”
A group of museum boosters called the MAC 200K Club is hoping to convince 100 hosts to hold dinners at their homes the first week of October. Each dinner party will have at least 10 guests who will agree to contribute $100 each to the museum’s general operating budget.
If this all works as planned, this drive would raise $100,000 to help overcome the MAC’s well-publicized budget issues.
If you want to be a host, sign up by emailing to Mac200kclub@gmail.com or call Charlotte Lamp, (509) 536-4303 with questions.
By the way, you don’t have to hold a dinner party. It can be a breakfast party, a cocktail party or a beer and pizza party – although I would suggest that it should probably include above-average beer and pizza.
Forrest B. Rodgers has been appointed the new executive director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).
Rodgers was most recently the director of the Central Washington University Foundation in Ellensburg.
From 2001 to 2007, he was the president and CEO of the privately funded High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore., which reversed a decline in paid attendance.
He will take over on Aug. 1 from Ron Rector, who is retiring.
It is, of course, too early to tell what Rodgers will mean to the MAC. Yet I can say that the MAC could do worse than emulate the High Desert Museum, one of the Northwest's best and most entertaining regional museums.
Line I overheard on the bus last week: “That Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the MAC isn't even real! They want us to pay to see a bunch of fake stuff!”
OK, where should I begin?
First, get real. Did you truly expect the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) to have an original da Vinci painting? There are only about 16 da Vinci paintings in existence and unless your museum has the word “Louvre” in it's name, your chances of getting one is just about nil.
Second, most of the exhibit consists of large, wooden models of mechanical devices made from drawings in da Vinci's notebooks. You can call those “fakes,” I suppose, except there there is no such thing as an “original” of these devices. Da Vinci never made any.
Third, “fake” or not, you'll learn a heck of a lot about da Vinci, one of the most remarkable minds of all time. And isn't that the point?
Fourth, decades ago, I once saw the “Mona Lisa” on loan to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Yeah, it was the real thing, all right, but the crowds were so enormous (500,000 in 27 days) and the security was so tight I got about a one-second glimpse of it. We were whisked past it on moving walkway. The one I saw at the MAC was a fake — a digital reproduction — but I sure got a better look at the old girl.
I just walked through “Leonardo da Vinci: Man – Inventor – Genius” while installers and curators readied it for a June 3 opening at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC), 2316 W. First.
Among the highlights:
- A huge full-size reproduction of da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” and I mean huge: 15 feet tall by 28 feet wide.
- A full-size reproduction of “Mona Lisa,” surprisingly compact at 27 inches by 22 inches.
- A working model of da Vinci’s design for the “Screw of Archimedes” – a contraption that can crank water uphill.
- A fearsome “Scythe Machine,” a chariot-like vehicle with whirling scythe blades to cut down enemies.
This exhibit, which will run all summer, ought to be a hit with kids and adults. Tickets are now on sale through TicketsWest outlets.
Please note that I said “reproductions” of the paintings. The originals are far too valuable and delicate to be hauled around the world. In the case of “Last Supper,” you’d have to uproot an entire Italian church. It’s painted on a wall in Milan.
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) has escaped the death sentence.
We just received word that the museum received $2.965 million in the state budget, which is a cut of five percent. That's far less severe than feared.
The museum will have to trim some services or operations — but will be able to remain open. Watch for an SR news story soon with more details.
OLYMPIA — The Legislature may find a way to keep the Museum of Arts and Culture and the state museum in Tacoma open, despite Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal to close them because of budget problems.
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said today a coalition of Spokane and Tacoma legislators is working on a strategy to reduce state support over time, but provide a “bridge” of state money while the museums look for financial support elsewhere.
For the MAC, Brown said, a possible source of funding would be the region's tribes because the museum has an extensive collection of Native American artifacts.
The Washington State Historical Society operates the museum in Tacoma and the separate Eastern Washington State Historical Society operates the MAC. In 2008, Gregoire tried unsuccessfully to merge the two societies; the proposal wasn't introduced in the Senate.
Brown said Thursday she didn't see a merger as part of conditions for the Legislature keeping money in the budget.
The two societies serve different areas and seem to work better as separate entities, she said.
OLYMPIA – The proposed state budget would “mothball” the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane and another facility in Tacoma, shutting out the public and possibly running afoul of federal law on Native American artifacts, a legislative panel was told Thursday.
Directors of the Northwest MAC and the State History Museum in Tacoma said Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget plan for 2011-13 cuts them back so severely that they cease most operations other than warehousing their collections.
“We wouldn’t continue to exist,” said David Nicandri, director of the Washington State Historical Society which operates the 16-year-old Tacoma museum.
The MAC wouldn’t have a large enough staff to open its exhibits or its archives to the public, director Ron Rector said. That would close off one of Spokane’s top three tourist attraction, Eastern Washington’s main art museum and the largest collection of Columbia Plateau Indian artifacts outside of the Smithsonian Institution, he said.
Spokane has signed Mac linebacker Micah King, who had 5.5 sacks for Iowa last year.
This doesn’t necessarily signal an end to Aaron Robbins’ time in Spokane. Robbins, Spokane’s Mac LB last year, is looking at other options, with an eye on outdoor football. Spokane wants Robbins to return, but King gives them an option if Robbins goes elsewhere. Interestingly both players were with the 2009 Arkansas Twisters with Robbins winning the starting job and King eventually being released. The two might battle for a job again.
On a separate topic, Jack linebacker Antwan Marsh has bulked up to 230-235 pounds, up from his 2010 playing weight of 215. He’ll remain at Jack, but head coach Rob Keefe stressed that Marsh will still be able to handle defensive back in a pinch, as he did in the ArenaBowl.
“He’s a total workout warrior,” Keefe said. “He was a safety in college at 235 pounds. I know for a fact, he’ll be faster because he’s also doing speed training.”
More on King here.
This was one of those wonderful Spokane weekends. When there is so much to do it's hard to decide where to go next.
Saturday morning I was out at the Fair and Expo Center to be a part of the fun at the Farm Chicks Show. That afternoon, I headed out to Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition for the Museum of Arts and Culture's annual Art Fest.
I have a special fondness for Art Fest. I arrived in Spokane June 1, 1999. That weekend we headed straight to Art Fest to have fun. At that time, the MAC was being renovated so the show was held on the grounds of the museum. It was a special introduction to the art culture in my new hometown.
This weekend, I was able to chat with some of the artists whose work I collect. And some whose work I covet. Unlike that Saturday 11 years ago, this time I saw many familiar faces. Some who have become quite special to me.
We strolled along shopping and visiting, and we stopped to listen to the music, but the one thing I enjoyed most this year was the MAC's historical photo booth.
The MAC was selling duplicate photos from their archives. I spent almost an hour standing at the table going through boxes of fascinating photos. Many showed local landmarks and a few featured historical figures. It took a while to decide what photographs I couldn't leave without.
I finally made my selection and rejoined my family.
The photo booth was a big hit. People were having to wait in line to get a chance to go through the images. If they decide to do it again next year I'll be at the table for sure.
The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl today announced the signing a four-year agreement that will match top teams from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) against top opponents from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Qualifying teams will be selected according to each conference’s criteria for bowl participation. The MAC is committed to send its third selection of bowl-eligible teams to the Boise bowl game. The WAC is committed to send one of its top teams/KTVB. More here. And: Brian Murphy’s views on deal here.
- Brian Murphy/Statesman via Twitter: “The H-Bowl will have the No. 3 pick from the MAC. Had the No. 8 pick from the ACC. Tried to land MWC or Pac-10 team, but couldn’t.”
Question: As you recall, UIdaho edged Bowling Green last December in a Humanitarian Bowl thriller. Are you glad to see the WAC and MAC make this deal?
They’re sleek. They’re hip. But darn are they hard to deal with when there’s a problem. University students with Macs face overwhelmingly few options when their machine is in need of repair. “We need an Apple store. With as many people on this campus who have Macs [Spokane] needs an Apple store,” said junior Rachel Harper. Harper has had her share of problems with her Apple laptop computer (donned a “Mac”). Her freshman year, after working on a term paper all night, she woke the next morning to a picture of a folder with a question mark on her screen. Apple support recommended that Harper take her Mac to the nearby CompUSA/Asia Hege, Gonzaga Bulletin. More here.
Question: Which do you prefer — Mac or PC?