Rock Art a little history and a little art...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Driven By the Past

What do SUV’s, siblings and giant dinosaurs have in common? They could be elements of the next Jurassic Park franchise film, or hallmarks of a classic American pastime, the Road Trip. Technology has expanded our travel entertainment options since the Slug Bug days. Whether your trip takes you across town or across the country there are new ways to engage with historic sites, roadside oddities and yes, even giant dinosaurs.

I spy with my little eye something… historic. You can find fascinating stories in unexpected places… like the public library. At a recent luncheon with the Columbia Basin School Retirees Association our conversation turned to a woman who claimed she was born at the library. And in fact Moses Lake’s first hospital opened in a converted World War II barracks where the current library now stands. Babies born at the hospital between 1947 and 1955 can also claim they were born in the Adam East Museum and the Washington State Patrol Office.

The Moses Lake Museum & Art Center has jumped on the digital bandwagon to explore historic sites in and around Moses Lake. Use the museum’s Pinterest board “Driven by the Past” to plan your next adventure. If you are looking to extend your trip across the state or nation download the Roadside America, Historypin or What Was There mobile apps. These virtual history vehicles integrate maps, user generated pictures, videos and even audio recordings. This summer take #ThrowbackThursday to the next level and on the road. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Tale of Two Lakes

You can forget about adding the St. Louis Arch, the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon Skywalk to my bucket list. My fear of heights, a paralyzing aversion to elevators, airplanes and roller coasters, had kicked in. I scratched “performance art” off of the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center’s bucket list with the opening of Sidestitched & In Between: Soap Lake Through the Lens and More. The “Dancing Bones Medicine Show” performance, one of the show’s 100+ artistic interpretations of Soap Lake, was a two woman whirling bohemian delight of billowing scarves and dancelike pantomime. As I looked down at the polished concrete gallery floor I began to wonder if facing my fear at the top of a 14 foot ladder was worth checking “yarn bombing” off of the list too.

Two hours later, the Moses Lake Museum’s life-sized metal Columbian Mammoth sculpture (who I call “Scrappy”) looked oddly at ease wearing his colorful hand knit coat on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon. My yarn bombing partners, the Groovy Gals of Soap Lake, sat laughing, knitting and launching the odd streamer of yarn over Scrappy’s fourteen foot shoulders. Check!

Soap Lake and Moses Lake are separated by a quick 20 mile drive across the arid Eastern Washington steppe where Scrappy’s ancestors once roamed. About the only thing the two community’s share is proximity to a lake. Moses Lake is the largest town in Grant County with an economy historically based on agriculture, but quickly expanding into manufacturing industries. Once a popular medicinal spa retreat, Soap Lake is an eclectic enclave of “boomers,” earning it the nickname “Boomerville”
Theresa Sergneri's "Dancing Bones Medicine Show"
coined by Soap Lake resident Theresa Sergneri, creator of the “Dancing Bones Medicine Show.”

For the next two weeks Sidestitched & In Between will continue link the two communities through a symbiotic cultural partnership. With any luck more yarn bombing and spontaneous dancing will ensue. At the very least I hope members from both communities will continue to discover adventure by traveling just over the hill. I’ve also
considered knitting a matching hat like Scrappy’s. What you didn’t really think I was going to go to St. Louis did you?

Baby steps.

The gallery show Sidestitched and In Between, Soap Lake Through the Lens and More, curated by Kathy Kiefer and Alison Gooding, will remain on view at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center through June 13.

Watch a time lapse video of the yarn bomb below...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Museum Career Pop Quiz!

Ever wonder if a career in the museum world is for you? Do you find yourself collecting odd bits and pieces to proudly display on every open surface of your home? Do you straighten pictures on the walls at other people's houses or hotels? Have you ever labeled everything in your pantry (and then painstakingly arranged them according to purchase date)? Can you create miracles with little more than a roll of fishing line, a box of pins and a few pieces of scrap wood? Well you might just find your calling in a museum!

All jokes aside there are a lot of special people with special skills behind the scenes at your local museum. Meet our staff and then take a fun "pop" quiz by the Virginia Association of Museums to see if a career in museums is right for you! 

Erin Stanley, Guest Services
Erin makes it fun! Coming from a community center background, Erin runs our Free Family Saturday program and organizes volunteers. You'll find her at the museum front desk and the classroom.
Amanda Graffe, Guest Services
Amanda makes you welcome! From member communications to museum store consignment, Amanda keeps you connected. You'll find her at the museum front desk and arranging the store.
Ann Schempp, Museum Curator
Ann gets it done! From caring for the ever-growing museum collections to artist pay and membership, Ann is the most analytical member of our quirky crew.
Freya Liggett, Museum Manager
Freya brings it all together! From exhibits to program development and marketing, Freya falls in love with every story at the museum... and wants to tell you about it.
Ramon Cerna, Exhibit Installer
Ramon makes us beautiful! From gallery installations to the kid's corner, Ramon has a true creative eye and works his magic from the secret and treasure-filled museum fabrication room.

Big, little, history, art and everything in between... there are so many different kinds of museums. Find out where you might belong in your future museum career. Take this quiz!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy 75th Anniversary Moses Lake!

Rumors and historical intrigue mark Moses Lake's incorporation... or do they?!

Nothing of much interest happened at the official May 11, 1938 meeting of the Ladies Aid and Missionary Society in Neppel Washington. The meeting opened with roll call. Mrs. Killian and Mrs. Larson were appointed hostesses. The meeting closed by all singing "With Happy Voices Singing." The missionary offering was $1.55. Afterwards at the refreshment table Mrs. Leland read a letter from the Grant County Commissioners explaining how to incorporate Neppel, and also how to go about changing its name. After some discussion Mrs. Rudberg made a motion seconded by Blanche Guffin to circulate a petition to incorporate and change the name of Neppel to Moses Lake.

The Ladies Aid and Missionary Society petition was a great success resulting in a special election on September 9, 1938 held by the Grant County Election Board and the County Commissioners. The majority voted in favor of incorporating under the name of "Moses Lake." The office of the mayor was filled by Eric Peterson. Ralph Davis, John Hochstatter, W.E. Bunnell, Carl Burress, Fred Nolan, were appointed as city councilmen and C.E. Laing was elected treasurer. The official incorporation papers were filed with the Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia on September 19, 1938.

A rumor has circulated for many years that Moses Lake's incorporation paperwork fell behind a desk at the Ephrata courthouse and was not filed until 1968. This story is likely based on a letter between the Secretary of State and Moses Lake City Manager Chester Waggener that lists the incorporation date as September 19, 1968. Although it makes for a quirky story, no doubt poking fun at the long-standing rivalry between Moses Lake and Ephrata, it is more probable that the secretary taking dictation for the letter simply replaced 1938 with 1968, the same year the letter was written. All incorporation documents housed at the Washington State Archives support the September 19, 1938 filing date, exactly four days after the local election results were approved - just enough time for representatives to travel from Ephrata to Olympia.

So mark your calendar and wish Moses Lake a happy 75th Anniversary on September 19 (or you will have to wait until 2043)!