Although I have only spent three months in Wichita, I can honestly say I could not have anticipated such a warm welcome from the community and staff. It has been wonderful to spend time in the city—getting to know our team at the Ulrich, as well as my colleagues at Wichita State University and our incredible community leaders and supporters; feeding the giraffes at the Sedgwick County Zoo with my daughter; spending most of my disposable income at Hatman Jack’s; enjoying fabulous local restaurants with new friends; appreciating and getting familiarized with local art at Diver Studio, Fisch Haus, and Reuben Saunders Gallery. Connecting with the community at large and immersing myself into local culture were just a couple of my focuses in this initial phase, and I know I am just getting started.
Besides the joy of exploring a new place and meeting its constituents, I want to relate all the exciting news we have. We are proud to announce our newest team member, Teri Mott — Creative Communications Manager. After working with Teri, I can attest to her experience, skill set, and most uplifting energy. It has been rewarding to work with our Interim Art Education Curators Sarah Alsaied and Tina Murano — their expertise and enthusiasm were valuable during this transitional time, and they will be missed. We are looking forward to hiring our permanent Art Education Curator this Spring. Our team and longtime Ulrich patrons were sad to say farewell to Carolyn Copple as she embarks on new adventures, but we were lucky to have rock star, Ann Keefer, step in as Interim Membership and Special Events Manager. Ann brings an extensive breadth of knowledge and was able to provide the museum a seamless transition. Added bonus: Austin Storie is now our full time Operations Assistant!
This Spring, the Ulrich will begin staggering exhibitions. Visit us any time from mid-January through early December, and you will always be able to experience one of our shows. We are excited to bring our astonishing collection of Japanese prints out of the vault with Nature in the Floating World. You will not want to miss Transmissions: The XXIV Faculty Biennial featuring our incredibly talented faculty. Our main galleries will be full all year, but do not forget to pay attention to the Grafly Gallery on your way up to the main galleries. Our team is excited to activate this space with pieces from all over the globe.
Starting this Spring our Salon Circle will change its name and approach. We listened to our current members and have been working hard to revamp the program and provide experiential and experimental events. Stay tuned!
Our team just finalized our Strategic Plan. We have so many exciting ideas and developments coming your way. Local and regional collaborations are only a couple of things to look forward to.
Lastly, I would like to ask you to keep sharing your memories related to the Ulrich. We will be using these in 2024, the year of our 50th anniversary. Just follow this link to the Ulrich Memories page and follow the instructions.
We are looking forward to welcoming you this Spring season, sparking your curiosity, and engaging in dialogue with you.
Vivian Zavataro, Executive and Creative Director