There’s something about the Smithsonian.

Maybe it’s because it’s the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers, and affiliates around the world.

Maybe it’s because it was established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and is administered by the Government of the United States.

Or, it could very well be that we love the idea of the Smithsonian being “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items that chronicle the history of these United States of America.

Art Gallery 21 continues to be amazed at the depth and breadth of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” available for viewing through May 6th. The gallery has seen a steady flow of visitors, each with their own stories to share, because this exhibit connects to everyone as only the Smithsonian can do.

Women taking place of men on Great Northern Railway at Great Falls 1919There are hundreds of photographs depicting everything from the uniforms we’ve worn to the rate of change across the nation as we moved from being an industrial to a technological economy. The exhibit delves into immigration, the history of gender in the workplace,  and child labor, and illustrates the story of the American workplace through videos, audio recordings and an eclectic collection of artifacts as only the Smithsonian can.

Don’t miss it! Exhibit hours are 12 Noon to 8 PM on Friday and Saturday and 12 Noon to 4 PM on Sunday at Art Gallery 21, 600 NE 21 Court in Wilton Manors, Florida.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institute. Paid for by the U.S. Congress. #NEHmatters

Diversity, Equity & A Paycheck

There are 26 photos, framed and hanging on the walls of the gallery.

Chairs are gathered ’round a microphone, awaiting the stories that will be told. A pith helmet stands ready to gather the names of the storytellers, written on little slips of paper. A straw hat awaits the names of the judges. A few refreshments, a prize for the winner and wonderful weather, all upon a Saturday night.

Will they come? And, if they do, how many will they be? Will they like what they see? And, will they stay and share their stories?

So many questions, but, alas, the answers must wait. Until Saturday night. The doors open at 7 PM and we look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time! Meanwhile, enjoy this music video of “Workin’ For A Livin'” from 1982. It’s just so apropo!

Featured photo: August 9, 2016 | Wilton Manors City Hall Selfie Day | From Wilton Manors Works, on exhibit at Art Gallery 21 through May 6, 2017 | This project is sponsored by The Florida Humanities Council and The Smithsonian Institution through Museums On Main Street.

 

#thewayweworked

Last fall we announced that Art Gallery 21 had been selected by the Florida Humanities Council to serve as a host site for the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” through the Museum on Main Street program. We were so excited at the prospects and have since been working with our partners to coordinate and plan and reach out to the community to welcome this amazing opportunity to connect with each other about something as important as what we do for a living.

way_we_worked_st-_louis_mo_2011

Tomorrow and Friday, Todd deJesus (Wilton Manors’ Capital Projects & Grants Manager) and I will drive to Dade City, Florida to participate in the Exhibit Installation Workshop for “The Way We Worked” at its first site, the Pioneer Florida Museum. The exhibit panels come in containers that are hauled on a tractor trailer from location to location. The photo shows a bit of what it looks like. As the second host site, we will see the arrival of the exhibit on or near March 21st.

There is an unintended consequence to traveling to a workshop to learn a task such as this, and that’s what I’d like to share here, if you don’t mind … that ‘unintended consequence’ is the camaraderie that exists when a project is shared by a group of people. It’s that thing that Margaret Mead references in her work and is often quoted, about the power of a small group of people. Anyway, we will have the opportunity to work elbow to elbow with other small nonprofit business managers who are trying to make their little part of the world a better place by bringing a Smithsonian exhibit to each of their communities, including Lake Wales, Tarpon Springs and Bartow. THAT is the best part of all this … making the connections to others who share the philosophy that art and culture really do matter and we’re willing to work to make it happen. Somehow, you make new friends, learn new things and make discoveries of delight that make the “work” memorable. And, the best is yet to come!

Stay tuned!

“The Way We Worked” is a traveling exhibition brought to you by the Smithsonian Institution and the Florida Humanities Council, based on photographs from the National Archives. The exhibit will be at Art Gallery 21 from March 24 to May 6, 2017, and will be available for viewing Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon to 8 PM. It is free to the public.