May 6, 2014

Forty Years/Forty Stories: Celebrating The Ulrich Museum, Millie the Millipede and Wichita State University

Forty Years/Forty Stories:  Celebrating The Ulrich Museum, Millie the Millipede and Wichita State UniversityYarn Bombing at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University

Hello Wichita:  File under discovering the Ulrich Museum....the unique charm of Millie's yarn bomb outfit.....and the welcoming vibe and peaceful grounds of WSU.

Millie is busy every day welcoming everyone into WSU at the 17th Street entrance--surrounded by flowers and students and visitors and inviting all of the people and all of the children to see her Ulrich Museum situated just past her smiling face and her shoes and socks........yes, she has socks created by the yarn bombers, too.

You really have to come and see it........

The yarn bomb of Millie the Millipede, the giant brass sculpture by Tom Otterness, puts everything into real time......the display is current and temporary.....it's community....it draws the neighbors in by its' unique beauty and curiosity alone.

But right now, Millie has a really cute, colorful knitted outfit......she is so stylish in her pastel springtime stripes.......

Millie shouts welcome to every passer by--come over and see me--touch me.......

Her charm is inescapable--and she knows it.

Obsessed with Millie, the yarn bomb and the Ulrich........so honored to find out more information from Jessy Clonts Day......the PR Manager at the U:

I feel like WSU and the Ulrich is a very friendly and welcoming place.....how would you like to be perceived in Wichita.
We would like to be considered as the regions source for modern and contemporary art, and that we connect viewers with artists and artworks that reflect our world today.


Are you a public museum.
Yes, we are a public museum! We offer free admission to our galleries, and our 76-piece Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection is always free and always open.


Who can go to your museum........what ages.....is it just for the students of WSU
We encourage anyone and everyone to visit the Ulrich. We offer free admission, parking, and group tours. We also offer bus reimbursement to schools to make field trips easier for educators to plan.


Who runs your museum......who do you answer to......who makes the decision about what art work or expositions will be there.  

The Ulrich Museum of Art is a part of Wichita State University. We do have a staff who runs various departments of the museum, led by our director, Bob Workman.


How and why did you get started with the yarn bomb
Yarn bombing is a type of street art that employs crochet and knitting rather than paint or chalk. It’s a worldwide practice that only seems to be growing in popularity. The Ulrich tries to stay at the forefront of the art of our time, so in spring of 2012 we organized the yarn bombing of around 30 sculptures in the Outdoor Sculpture Collection. The project was overseen by Kristen Beal of Harvester Arts, and the group of volunteers worked through the summer to install the show in September 2012. That yarn bombing was up just over two weeks, and we saw thousands of people come through campus to view them. 

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary of the Ulrich with the exhibition Forty Years/Forty Stories. Throughout the three galleries on our second floor we highlight the art objects, people, and stories that have shaped the museum since its opening in 1974. The yarn bombing was such a memorable story that we enlisted “Millie’s Knitters” to yarn bomb Tom Otterness’ Millipede (affectionately nicknamed “Millie”) once more. And once more, Millie has received lots of attention! 


To me the yarn bomb makes everything seem so homey welcoming and beautiful........it makes it seem like part of the community and it is fun and I usually do not get that impression about most museums.


Also, how much time does it take, can anyone join their group..........

Millie’s Knitters" is a private group of long-time friends who gather weekly to knit and spend time together. Many of them happen to be Ulrich members, which is how we were able to connect with this group this year. 



Also......do you want to talk about the courtyard and fountain......I love the fountain and my dog gets a nice drink of water every time we walk over there.
The courtyard of the museum came about in a renovation in the mid-90s. At that time the museum commissioned Texas artist Jesus Morales to create three granite structures around the museum entrance: Granite LandscapeGranite Weaving, and Fountain Wall, all made in 1995. The fountain is a gorgeous feature that we love being able to share with the public. In fact, just this afternoon we hosted a reception for the WSU Honors College in the courtyard, and they took a group photo in front of the fountain. And of course for maintenance and upkeep, we turn off the water during the winter months. The water was just turned back on April 25.


JESSY CLONTS DAY
Public Relations & Marketing Manager

ULRICH MUSEUM OF ART
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount St.
Wichita, KS  67260-0046

ON VIEW April 26–August 3, 2014

F: facebook.com/ulrichmuseum | T: @ulrichmuseum



my take.....come over and see me--Millie wants everyone to get up close...........

Thank you, Jessy Clonts Day, for taking time to tell us about your beautiful and friendly museum.....I walk there almost every day and I just love it.........I hope everyone in Wichita can have an opportuity to visit the giant, inspirational, craftsy and fun sculpture of Millie and have a peaceful breath of fresh air at the fountain--it's well worth your time.
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