This past August, a historical moment occurred when the David Owsley Museum of Art Alliance and Muncie Art Students’ League joined together in a meeting to discuss and celebrate the newly renovated galleries in the David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA). Through the meeting, the two organizations decided to co-host a luncheon to celebrate the new galleries on September 11th.
Jennifer Williams, President of the Art Alliance, noted the significance of the two organizations coming together. She said, “both organizations share a love of the museum and have made donations to the collection over the years, so the opening of the new galleries was a perfect catalyst for the two organizations to join together and celebrate their common cause. Several members of the Alliance are also members of the League, which made planning the event very easy. Hopefully, the success of the luncheon will lead to more joint events in the future.”
President of the Muncie Art Students’ League, Barbara Schafer noted, “It was wonderful that the two groups could come together to celebrate the expansion at the Museum. Both the Art Alliance and the Muncie Art Students’ League have played a vital role in helping the Museum gain community support for its programs and mission throughout the years. Together, both organizations are a strong voice for not only the Museum but for all arts organizations in Muncie.”
As part of the program, I was invited to share my experiences working at DOMA the past year as an interpretive planning assistant. I was both excited and nervous to speak in front of community leaders about my experience. When I arrived at the luncheon many of my fears subsided because of the generosity and warm welcome I received from members of both the Alliance and the Art Students’ League. I spoke about drafting and working on labels and how the experience I have gained working at the Museum for the past year as well as this year will prepare me for a future career in museums. As I sat with my table enjoying our lunch, we shared stories and experiences. At that moment, I realized what an important opportunity I was given to speak at the luncheon that day. Walking around the galleries after lunch, I had the pleasure of meeting many influential members of the community who value art and the Museum like me.
The Art Alliance has been a staple in the Muncie community for years. Williams shared that the Alliance’s purpose is to “increase the effectiveness of the museum by stimulating public interest, increasing revenue for museum operations and acquisitions, providing hospitality for guests and working with the staff.” The Alliance meets monthly, holding luncheons and lectures that Williams says is a “wonderful way for the group to achieve many of these goals while enjoying a time of fellowship with the members.”
This year, the Alliance has scheduled two outings: a trip in November to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to see the Matisse exhibition and a trip in May to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum. They also meet to have lunch and hear speakers discuss issues and ideas related to the collection and exhibitions.
For more information about the Art Alliance, including how to become a member, visit their webpage at http://cms.bsu.edu/web/museumofart/getinvolved/alliance.