Every time I think I’m at a loss for a new blog topic, I discover an unknown element of the community, unknown to me at least. I like discovering things, I always have, I think everyone does. When I discovered an art club, known as the Green Bay Art Colony, that has been around since 1915, I was pretty blown away, ‘How could I have never heard of that before?’
When looking online, I couldn’t find alot of information about the group, except that it’s a club for women and membership is given by invitation alone. The Art Colony was born in a time when women were increasingly gaining a voice in America. I’m not saying that progression doesn’t exist today, there was just an incredible shift, enabled by brave ladies, in the views of what a female’s role in society was and could be, mainly the fight for women’s suffrage. It was also crucial that women could gather and talk to other women in the community. I imagine that the Green Bay Art Colony was born from that mind set.
So on with the Art Colony exhibit at the Neville Public Museum…
It’s midday on Friday, and I’m starting to think to myself. ‘When I started this blog it seemed simple enough, I’d find a place to visit and write about it. Yet, it’s been two and a half years now, and it’s difficult to find something to write about every week.’
And this week might be one of the toughest weeks, as far as finding a topic. There’s obligations this week, time constraints and simply other projects that I want to tackle. So, I’m debating skipping this particular post. Then, I shrug my shoulders and think ‘I haven’t been to the Neville in a month. I wonder if they have anything new.’
So I make the ten minute drive to the heart of Title Town, where the Neville Public Museum stands proudly on the banks of the Fox River. As I enter, I steal a view of a banner that assures me that I’ve made the right choice. It proclaims the Green Bay Art Colony. I literally have no Idea what it is.
I show my veteran ID, which gains me free admission, and head towards the second floor. Of course, before doing that, I shed my jacket in the museum’s coat room.
As I reach the top of the stairs, I catch a glimpse of artwork influenced by the struggle for racial equality. It is the work of school children and it commemorates Black History Month. Some of the artwork is very impressive.
I then make it into the Art Colony Exhibit, as it’s really not that big. But there is some impressive work here and I peruse each and every piece. There’s something about a small exhibit that allows one to examine every bit of it more closely. I guess it is how they say, less is more. Each piece is different, and through creativity and interpretation, uniquely its own.
Uniqueness is definitely a trait that I look for in art. And with all the incredible artists in the world, its hard to find something that really says ‘one of a kind’. Granted, some pieces I could definitely compare to others I’ve seen before. Yet, I’ve never set eyes on a fiber artwork that demonstrated a belly dancer in young adulthood, and then ten years later after four children. I laugh at the woman’s sense of humor, or maybe it’s frustration, not sure which, but it’s bold.
Some of these works are for sale, others are not. If one was interested in purchasing a piece from the exhibit, I notice that the prices are listed in the Gift Shop. I didn’t check the prices, not because I didn’t like them. I’m just a little finicky, and not everything I find interesting will make a great addition to my home. Plus, I really shouldn’t be blowing money on artwork at this moment.
When I leave, I’ve gained a deeper knowledge. This new understanding transcends art and sparks images of a movement that was not only happening nationally, it was taking place right here. And today, we see the many positive results such groups and gatherings did for society. Plus, art is such a great medium to get together and talk about what is important, not only socially, but in each other’s lives.