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The Dennos Museum Center

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community programs

The Dennos Museum Center presents a variety of programs for all ages, seeking to engage, enlighten and entertain audiences. Check out the listings here to find out what's happening.

The Art Of: _ is a series of programs that help connect the visual arts to broader topics in our busy lives, from coffee to education, The Art Of: _technology, and even death and dying. Programs have included films, panel discussions, hands-on art, and food and drink tastings. Have an idea for a program? Contact Jason Dake at to pitch it.




The Art Of: Bill AllenTHE ART OF: BILL ALLEN

 Wednesday, August 19, 2020 — 10:30 a.m.

Join artist Bill Allen and curator of education Jason Dake online as they discuss Allen’s work in the Dennos galleries. They will also highlight the artist’s more recent work, up to and including recent shelter-in-place developments. There will also be a chance for attendees to ask questions about Allen’s process, materials, and themes.

Bill Allen is a sculptor and painter living in Northern Michigan. In addition to the Dennos Museum Center, Allen's works are included in the collections of the Detroit Zoo, the Field Museum, and the Brookfield Zoo, among others. 

Registration tickets are pay what you can, $0 - $15After your ticket is reserved, a member of Dennos Staff will email you the details to join us on Zoom. A reminder email will go out the day of the event to all registrants 30 minutes prior to the start time. Register here. 

Learn more about Bill Allen on his website
The Art of:__ is generously supported by Art Bridges.

The Art of: collecting

how to care for artwork and family treasures


Watch the webinar recorded on May 13, 2020 on youtube here

All of us have family treasures that we have inherited or collected over the years. In this live webinar session, you will learn how museum professionals take care of a wide range of artworks and objects, from sculptures and paintings to photographs and precious newsclippings. We will discuss the different ways in which objects deteriorate, tips for mitigating loss, and what you can do to protect your precious belongings. 


the art of: karen bondarchuk

A Conversation with Karen Bondarchuk

Watch the webinar recorded on May 20, 2020 on youtube here.

Join us for a conversation on with Karen Bondarchuk, the artist who created Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day, now on exhibit at the Dennos Museum Center. In 2014, Canadian-born Karen set out to mark the passing time that her mother – diagnosed with dementia in 2010 – no longer could. For 365 days, she produced a crow a day on a hand-cut, hand-gessoed panel, remembering her mother as she once was and grieving her loss. The resulting work explores communication and an artist’s relationship to the world; it resonates for its depth, beauty, and elegiac and potent whimsy.

Our guest host for this interactive conversation is Kathy Kelsey Foley, Director of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum which organized the traveling exhibition.

Karen Bondarchuk is an associate professor of art and foundation art area coordinator at Western Michigan University's Gwen Frostic School of Art. She teaches drawing and sculpture courses. A native of Canada, Bondarchuk received her M.F.A. in sculpture from Ohio State University and her B.F.A. in sculpture and video from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (formerly the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design).


Morsels Logo

The Art of:_ is sponsored in part by Morsels of Traverse City.



Pulped Under Pressure Virtual Chatspulped under pressure: virtual chats

Aired Wednesday, July 8th featuring Reni Gower
Aired Wednesday, July 15th featuring Melissa Potter and Reni Gower
Aired Wednesday, July 22nd featuring Marilyn Propp 

10:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST

Join us on Zoom and Facebook Live in the galleries as we have conversations featuring some of the artists from Pulped Under Pressure. Jason will be sharing each artist's work, currently on view, and chat with our artists. Ask your questions in the chat on Zoom or in the comments on Facebook to learn more about the artists.


Reni Gower

Reni Gower received a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. In 2017, she was awarded SECAC’s Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.
In 2014, she received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teacher of Art Award, as well as distinguished teaching awards from Virginia Commonwealth University and VCUarts. Her art work is represented in many prestigious collections and has been exhibited at international and national venues for over 40 years.  In addition to her painting practice, she curates award winning traveling exhibitions that include The GardenFLASHPOINTS: Material / Intent / Fused, Geometric Aljamía: a Cultural Transliteration, and Pulped Under Pressure: The Art of Handmade Paper. After 37 years, Professor Emerita Gower retired from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2018. Gower is represented by Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, VA.

Melissa Potter

Columbia College Chicago Associate Professor, Melissa Potter is a multi-media artist, curator, and writer.  She is the recipient of three Fulbright Fellowships to Serbia, Bosnia, and Hercegovina with residencies through ArtsLink and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.  Her work has been shown internationally and her essays have been published in BOMB, Art Papers, and Flash Art.  Her curatorial project, Social Paper examined hand-papermaking as socially engaged art.  She holds a MFA from Rutgers University and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Marilyn Propp

Raised in upstate New York, Marilyn Propp is an artist/educator whose relief prints on handmade paper have been exhibited in museums and commercial and university galleries throughout the US and in Mexico. Recent exhibits include Pulped Under Pressure (currently traveling throughout the U.S.); a two-person show, Into the Deep: Fragments and Reflections, at the Kenosha Public Museum; Distance, at the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in NYC; and solo exhibits Notes from the Sea at the Racine Art Museum’s Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, WI and at Grove Gallery, Milwaukee. She is currently exhibiting in Surface Impressions at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, NE, curated by Mark Pascale, Curator of Prints and Drawings at The Art Institute of Chicago. 

She attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum Art School, Provincetown Workshop, and the San Francisco Art Institute’s pre-MFA program. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Residencies/Visiting Artist positions include Jentel, Wyoming; Cill Rialaig, Ireland; Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico; and universities in the Midwest and Southeast. Recently she was a Visiting Artist at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Propp has received numerous grants and awards, including the Racine Art Museum Fellowship, the Illinois Arts Council Finalist Award and an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant. Her work is in the collections of the DePaul Art Museum; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art; Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; Summer Palace, Saudi Arabia; Amnesty International NYC; Old St. Patrick's Church, Chicago; Hallmark Collection and the AT&T Collection, Kansas City; and private collections throughout the U.S.

She has taught at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago; Loyola University; Columbia College Chicago; and Carthage College Kenosha; and has been a panelist/lecturer throughout the country. Her curatorial project Materiality and the Layered (eye) was exhibited at the Evanston Art Center in 2016, and included a panel discussion and a lecture on the history of collage, entitled Collage as Social, Political, and Personal Expression.

In 1990 she and David Jones founded Anchor Graphics, Chicago. She relocated in 2016 from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where she co-founded the Center for Collaborative Research. CCR’s Press on Wheels takes printmaking and papermaking into the community throughout the Midwest region.

Her ongoing work, Notes from the Sea, reflects the clash/coexistence between the industrial and the natural worlds, where industrial debris, machine parts, and marine life are entangled or morph into one another.