by William Valerio

The spring season brings a great deal of excitement to Woodmere this year, especially with the arrival of two monumental sculptures: Dina Wind’s “Spring & Triangle” (2016) and Harry Bertoia’s “Free Interpretation of Plant Form” (1967). Although “on the surface” it may not sound exciting, the upcoming replacement of our crumbling parking lot with a new permeable facility will bring vast improvements to storm water management across our landscape. We hope to serve as a model for stewardship of land on the Wissahickon.

Current exhibitions, “Complete Set” and “Look Both Ways” show off the strengths of Woodmere’s permanent collections, and our Saturday lectures offer opportunities to interact with some of the great artists of our city whose work is on view, including master printer Cindi Ettinger (Saturday, April 30, 3 p.m.) and painter of mesmerizing abstractions, Bruce Pollock (Saturday May 14, 3 p.m.).

On May 7 at 3 p.m., Shana Kennedy, director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will offer her thoughts in a lecture titled, “Why Circus?” talking about the mystique and evolution of the circus in relation to circus-related works on view in our galleries by Alexander Calder and Robert Riggs.

We are also trying something new on the day before Mother’s Day (May 7, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) that we are calling “Design and Shop.” Work with artists Bea Weidner and Connie Toll to make a beautiful hand-made card and receive a 20 percent discount in the museum store.

This is all to say that there is always something happening at Woodmere, and it brings me to an event that deserves special mention and my best pitch: Woodmere’s annual Volunteer Open House and Tour (Saturday, April 30 from noon through 2 p.m., tour at 1 p.m.). Woodmere simply could not function without our army of volunteers, and if you were ever curious about volunteering in a museum, this would be the event for you. The array of opportunities is broad, and there is hardly an activity at Woodmere that does not depend on the attention to detail and warm, welcoming spirit of our volunteers.

Woodmere was once the home of Charles Knox Smith and his family, and our volunteers maintain a spirit of hospitality, hosting our events, presiding over our receptions, and assuring that our visitors feel welcomed. Our group of 60 volunteers enjoy each other’s company, working together and with all of us on the staff and board. Megan Gallagher is Woodmere’s volunteer coordinator, and she would be thrilled to answer your questions. Feel free to email Megan at Thank you and we hope to see you soon!

William Valerio is the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave.

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