Current Exhibitions

Very Special Arts

Feb. 25 - March 23

An exhibit of children’s art work organized by the State Organization on Arts and Disabilities.

IndustrIal Nature: Work by Michelle Stitzlein

March 1 - July 6

Michelle Stitzlein, Baltimore, OH, creates found object art/sculpture from recycled materials. Stitzlein's series of more than 14 moths and lichen range in size from 3’ to 11’. She began working on this series in 2003, inspired by "myriad varieties of beautiful, exotic moths and lichen in my own backyard." These pieces are cobbled together in the most pristine way from old piano keys, tin cans, license plates and bicycle tires, among other things. The exhibit will also include several pieces from her new series using recycled electric wire and other found objects.

She has also written two books, Bottle Cap, Little Bottle Cap; and Cool Caps outlining projects for children, families, schools and non-profits utilizing recycled, plastic bottle caps. In late Feb. Stitzlein will spend two days creating a bottle cap mural for the Appleton with the help of students at North Marion Middle School. Stitzlein will also participate in the March 1 First Saturday from 1-3 pm where families will be able to create bottle cap magnets. The exhibit and mural project are funded in part by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

[in]justice:art and atrocity in the 20th century

February 8 - May 11

“[in]justice: art and atrocity in the 20th century,” features works by 20th century masters such as Leonard Baskin, Leon Golub, Robert Morris and Alison Saar.

Guest curator Tyrus Clutter, College of Central Florida assistant professor of Visual and Performing Arts, chose the works for their ability to explore elements of the darker side of humanity.

“Sometimes life is beautiful, and sometimes beauty is simply not enough. And sometimes art is the most powerful tool to call attention to man’s inhumanity,” said Clutter. “Artists of the 20th century were often heralds of injustice, holding up a mirror to the acts that many wished would quietly fade away.”

The Living Art of Bonsai

January 17 - April 13

Bonsai from the collections of members of the Marion Bonsai Society will be on display in the Courtyard.


A Celebration of Japan

January 18 - April 13

Decorative sword guards, pen & ink containers, kimonos and wood block prints from the collections of the Appleton Museum of Art and Mulvane Art Museum.


A Gathering of Legends

Jan. 25 - May 4

A piece of Americana with ties to historical figures such as Joe Louis, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and President Ronald Reagan will be on display, Jan. 25-May 4. The “Gathering of Legends” exhibit will feature an Irish linen tablecloth with nearly 700 autographs embroidered on it, alongside photographs of the politicians, athletes and celebrities who signed it over the past 84 years. The tablecloth and photos belong to Silver Springs resident Walter Light Jr., a retired musician, whose mother, Joy, started the collection in 1929.

The museum will host a reception with Walter Light Jr. Saturday, Jan. 25, from 2-4 p.m.

Exploration: The Art of R. Gregory Christie

February 01 - April 27

R. Gregory Christie, who owns and operates Gas Art Gifts Bookstore and Art Studio in Decatur, Ga., has illustrated more than 40 books in the past 17 years. Christie won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration for his first book, “The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children.” His book “Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth” was selected as a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.

As part of his residency with the museum, Christie will unveil a mural he created specifically for the Appleton, using the museum’s collection as inspiration. The mural may be viewed Saturday, Feb. 1, from 1-3 p.m. during the museum’s First Saturday event. Families are invited to come participate in a hands-on art activity with Christie at that time. Christie will also present a workshop on bookmaking and illustration to students at Howard Middle School Jan. 30 and 31.