Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ohio Wesleyan's Museum Joins M.A.P.

 Since it opened its doors in 2002, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum has been a local and regional destination for art lovers.

Now, Justin Kronewetter, museum director, is taking the first steps toward putting the facility on the national MAP. The museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, recently took the Pledge of Excellence of the American Alliance of Museums and has begun completion of the alliance’s Museum Assessment Program (MAP).

“MAP is a two-part program,” said Kronewetter, M.F.A., including a highly detailed self-study workbook to be completed over four months and an onsite review by an alliance expert.

“The onsite visit will include interviews with a broad constituency and result in a written report that identifies our strengths and opportunities,” Kronewetter said. “This is an initial step on the road to achieving accreditation for the museum by the American Alliance of Museums.”

The alliance, located in Washington, D.C., works to strengthen the nation’s museum community by developing standards and best practices, by providing resources and career development, and by advocating for museums to thrive. The alliance currently supports 21,000 museums, individuals, and companies across the country.

Kronewetter said the Ross Art Museum’s Board of Advisors supports working with the alliance as it prepares for the facility’s future. When the Board meets April 26, it will help with the preparation by beginning to review and refresh the museum’s strategic plan and mission statement.

Kronewetter said he is pleased by how far the museum has come since it opened 12 years ago and wants to ensure a roadmap exists for its future after he retires and passes the baton to his successor.

“The goal of the museum has always been to create opportunities to educate people about art and to create reasons to visit the museum to view new exhibits and attend special events,” Kronewetter said, noting its opening receptions, artist talks, first Thursday celebrations, and more. “We have worked to become woven into the fabric of the university and now want to enhance our reach within the academic and museum communities beyond OWU.”

The museum’s outreach efforts already are bearing fruit. Kronewetter and first assistant Tammy Wallace learned recently the facility would receive the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen (ODC) organization.

According to the Columbus-based organization, the Ross Art Museum was chosen for award in recognition of its “record of superior exhibitions of fine craft, including many that have featured work by [ODC] members, as well as those of the Quilt Surface Design Symposium.” The Outstanding Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the ODC.

Wallace will accept the award on behalf of the museum at a May 4 celebration and exhibit opening at the Ohio Craft Museum. She also is working to prepare for an upcoming exhibit of art quilts tied to this year’s 25th annual Quilt Surface Design Symposium. The Ross Art Museum exhibit, set for May 23 through July 3, will feature 55 works by 31 artists from 16 states and Israel. Hours for the special summer exhibition will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition, Kronewetter and OWU student Catie Beach, a sophomore and fine arts major from Columbus, will help to educate middle-school and high-school students about career opportunities related to fine arts, museums, and gallery management when they are filmed May 20 for a multimedia project produced by Western Reserve Public Media. The project will be available to the 92 public school districts and 111 nonpublic schools in eight Northeast Ohio counties served by Kent-based Western Reserve Public Media.

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum online at or on Facebook at keyword Ross Art Museum.

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