Friends of Art was established in 1921 as an independent non-profit organization to promote the study of art and to support the Muskegon Museum of Art. The Friends of Art group offers an on-going guest lecture program and occasional visits to off-site cultural institutions.

Meetings and programs typically take place on the third Wednesday morning of the months of October, November, March, April and May.

Evening lecture opportunities are offered through the ArtSmarts series in fall and spring.

Membership dues are used for morning programs and operational expenses. Donations are used to purchase gifts for the museum, most especially works of art. The Friends of Art organization provides a monetary award for the annual Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition, support for the Festival of Trees and the annual Gala, and various physical improvements.

A Muskegon Museum of Art membership is prerequisite to joining the Friends of Art. Basic membership in Friends of Art is $25, with benevolent memberships above that level.

2019 Fall ArtSmarts Lecture Series

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Wednesdays: September 11, 18 and 25
7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm
Series: $45 per person/$30 per person (Friends of Art member)
Per lecture at the door: $15
Registration forms are available in the MMA Store. Call 231.720.2580. Please remit checks for advance payment by September 4.

Sept. 11, 2019
Growing The Permanent Collection
Speaker: Frank Bednarek

From the trustee perspective, Frank will review the effort made to commemorate the 100th Anniversary. He will also discuss the strategic plan with an eye to filling in the gaps of the current collection, maintaining quality and continuing an emphasis on acquiring works by women and African American artists. And then there is the diplomacy of gifts of art and the process of deaccessioning objects that no longer fit the collection’s goals.

Frank Bednarek has been a member of the Collections Committee since 1997, and served as its Chair for 15 years. He is currently the Chair of the museum foundation’s board of trustees, as well as serving as Chair of the Mercy Hospital Board. He came to Muskegon in 1973 as the Finance Director of Muskegon County, and later served as County Administrator for 17 years.

Sept. 18, 2019
Setting Up An Exhibition
Speaker: Art Martin

Art Martin will discuss the strategies, goals, and logistics that go into planning the museum’s annual exhibition cycle. Get a glimpse into how the MMA staff makes it happen. Martin will cover the shows from their initial genesis to their final polish. Topics covered include initial development, goals in hosting the show, plotting the calendar, choosing the art and designing the gallery, building the displays, and the unusual challenges and stories that go with it all.

Art Martin is the MMA Senior Curator and Director of Collections and Exhibitions. He was previously the Collections Manager of the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University (KS). Art joined the MMA staff in 2001, and holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Drake University as well as an MFA in Painting from Wichita State University.

Sept. 25, 2019
Traveling With A Work of Art
Speaker: Catherine Mott

The MMA’s permanent collection has many desirable works that fellow museums and institutions request to borrow. So how does that work? How does artwork travel? Join Cathy Mott as she shares an artwork’s journey from the MMA to its destination and back home again.

Catherine Mott is the MMA’s Assistant Director. She served as the Curator of Education from 2007 to 2017. Before that, she was the Director of the Nuveen Community Center for the Arts in Whitehall. She also worked at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art. Cathy received a BA degree in Art History from St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN).


2019 Fall Friends of Art Morning Programs

Friends of Art morning programs are free and open to the public. Paid admission is required for gallery entrance.

Works of Art Inspire Original Poetry

Speaker: Courtney Jackson
Wednesday, October 16, 10:30 am

How an interpretation of a work of art is used to inspire original poetry will be explained by MMA’s Curator of Education. Examples from the last few years of Ekphrastic Poetry Contests will be given.

Courtney Jackson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art History from Kendall College of Art and Design and is a Muskegon native. She has worked and studied in Paris and Rome, and was most recently a gallery assistant at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids before coming to the MMA.

The Silver Artistry of Georg Jensen

Speaker: Yusif Hamati, M.D.
Wednesday, November 20, 10:30 am

For many years, Dr. Hamati, a local orthopaedist, has collected objects crafted by Danish silversmith Georg Jensen. Inspired by nature, Georg Jensen’s distinctly Scandinavian jewelry, flatware and hollowware designs have appealed to generations of collectors and admirers, and have been acquired by royalty and world famous museums.