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.


2020 Spring Friends of Art Programs

ArtSmarts Lecture Series:
Public Art Transforming Urban Landscapes

Wednesdays, April 22, April 29, May 6
7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm

Series: $30 Friends of Art member | $45 non-member
Per lecture at door: $15
Registration forms are available in the Museum Store. Call 231.720.2580. Please remit series payment in advance by April 15.

Why Sculpture?

Guest speaker Suzanne Eberle
Wednesday, April 22

Working in three dimensions brings its own set of spatial challengers and conceptual difficulties, yet artists have turned to this art form throughout every period in area history. Join us for an overview of how and why sculpture has been such an effective, beloved means of aesthetic communication. Guest speaker Suzanne Eberle received her Ph.D. from the University of Detroit, and has been a professor of art history at Kendall College of Art and Design for many years. Her areas of specialty include Modern Art, Contemporary Art, and art related to issues of the body, including the history of fashion. She is also on the Board of Directors and is the chair of the Sculpture Advisory Committee at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

The Sculpture Around Us: Inside and Out

Guest speaker Judith Hayner
Wednesday, April 29

Judith Hayner will present some of the highlights of the MMA’s sculpture collection that resides both within the galleries and outside the building. She will also discuss the Muskegon remarkable public art collection and her role today in bringing new public art to the community. Guest speaker Judith Hayner served as Executive Director of the Muskegon Museum of Art from 2003 until November of 2017 when she retired. Hayner now serves as Project Director of the Muskegon City Public Art Initiative, a project of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County that focuses on commissioning new and significant works of public art. Her first sculpture installation with the MC-PAI was Mastodons on the Loose at the Lakeshore Museum Center. Hayner is also a co-chair of the Muskegon Museum of Art expansion campaign cabinet.

Jason Quigno

Guest Speaker Jason Quigno
Wednesday, May 6

Sculpting is artist Jason Quigno’s passion. He will share the story of his work, which he says involves creative design, precision tools, cooperative materials, and a great deal of time and sweat. “I work in all types of stone: soapstone, alabaster, limestone, marble, basalt, and granite. I love the process of taking a raw, dense block of stone and transforming it into a balanced and harmonious object. When I create I am always pushing myself, my designs, and the limits of the stone to bring out a fluid and balanced form, and to create artwork that is graceful, delicate and has a sense of movement.” Guest Speaker Jason Quigno studied under Dennis Christy and apprenticed in 1990-92 under Daniel Mena. His work has been featured in exhibitions in the Midwest, Southwest, and in Nagano, Japan and has garnered many awards. His sculpture can also be found in public and private collections in Michigan (including at the Muskegon Museum of Art) and in Japan.

Morning Programs

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

The Great Lakes Project

Speaker: Jennifer Wcisel
Wednesday, March 18, 10:30 am
Jennifer Wcisel, Curatorial Assistant at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, will speak about a project commissioned by the GRAM in 2013 that is currently on tour in the Midwest. The artwork, created by Alexis Rockman, synthesizes history and science into five large murals.

Icons: A Holy Hobby

Speaker: Rev. Elsa Pressentin
Wednesday, April 15, 10:30 am
Rev. Elsa Pressentin, a retired Episcopal priest, took up iconography as a hobby in 2012. While not an expert, she is pleased to be able to share her passion about this subject. She will give a brief history of icons, show how icons are created, and present some examples.

Creativity and Its Impact on Everyday Life

Speaker: Christopher Bruce
Wednesday, May 20, 10:30 am
Christopher Bruce, Education Director at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, will explore creativity’s role in society today and discuss its various functions not only from the view of a museum, but also from the perspective of everyday living. Learn tips and tricks to become more creative and discover how living a more creative life can lead to a happier life.