From the Executive Director
Although you are reading this letter in September, due to a publication deadline, I am writing to you from midsummer. This moment in time gives me an opportunity to both reflect on the past and look forward to the future. It is my hope that this issue of the FIA Magazine finds you and yours healthy and well.
On March 14 the museum closed to the public, but the essential curatorial, security, and maintenance staff still reported to the building. They were busy keeping our collection safe, thoroughly cleaning the building, and monitoring environmental controls. So, in a sense, we never really closed.
Other staff members adjusted to working remotely and displaying their creative abilities to react to those circumstances beyond their control. Exhibitions and events had to be rescheduled, canceled, or postponed; educational programs redesigned for online use; grants for special COVID-19 related funds were written and requested; and art school classes adjusted for limited capacity.
During the closure, communications were increased via social media platforms, the FIA website, and the weekly newsletter FIA @ Home. With the exception of those who could perform their jobs at home, staff members were back in the building by mid-June, busily preparing for the public to return in July.
Though we have decided to cancel large indoor gatherings for this fall, there are several exhibitions planned to provide you with a variety of exciting visual experiences in our clean and spacious galleries. Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle offers an intersection of art, science, and history; and the exhibition featuring photographs by Nathalia Edenmont reveals an intimate and personal story of finding beauty in the pain of life. Matthew Owen Wead’s Black Matters takes an unflinching look at the brutal violence enacted on African Americans by police officers and vigilantes. Art of Jade shows how humans have imbued meaning in natural substances, creating objects of power, status, and healing. Not all art has representational subject matter as seen in Pure Abstraction, where artists aim to evoke emotion simply through the use of color, line, and gesture.
At this writing, nothing can be certain about our program scheduling for the fall, given the unyielding pandemic. Nevertheless, with the hope of reaching some semblance of normalcy by the time this reaches you, we have arranged a full fall schedule of films, demonstrations in the Hot Shop, classes in the art school, and educational in-reach and outreach programs. Rest assured, all necessary safety protocols will be followed to guarantee your comfort and well-being.
We have missed you these past several months and look forward to seeing you again very soon.
John Henry has been the FIA's Director since July 1996, and holds an M.A. from the University of Mississippi in Art History and a B.F.A. from the University of South Carolina in sculpture.
He is a member of Rotary International and a member of numerous professional affiliations including the Board of Trustees of the Flint Classroom Support Fund, The Association of Art Museum Directors, American Association of Museums and the Midwest Museum Conference.
The Director is responsible for the administration of board policies and all museum operations.
Board of Trustees
The FIA welcomes the following members to the Board of Trustees:
David T. Taylor
David T. Taylor was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, and grew up in Birmingham, Michigan. He earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Biological Sciences with honors from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Taylor attended the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1999. After graduation, he completed a three-year residency in Foot and Ankle Surgery at Hines Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Chicago. Dr. Taylor published several research papers during his residency regarding great toe joint arthritis.
In August 2002, Dr. Taylor joined Community Podiatry Group located in Flint, Michigan. He is Board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) in both Forefoot and Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery. He is the program director for the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency at Ascension Genesys.
Dr. Taylor lives in Fenton and has three children (Lauren, Emily, and TJ). He enjoys scuba diving, photography, alpine skiing, fitness/running, ice hockey, and gardening.
John Bracey earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan-Flint. His graduate work has been in liberal studies with a focus on American Culture. He recently retired from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), where he served as Executive Director for 13 years, previously serving as the Director of Programs. He has also been a lecturer at the University of Michigan-Flint for the Rackham Graduate School in Arts Administration, in addition to holding positions as a journalist, editor, and as an employee of General Motors Chevrolet Truck Assembly.
John has served on numerous boards and task forces, including the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Arts Midwest, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and as a grant reviewer for the Kresge Foundation and several states throughout the country.
John and his wife Dianne have two children, Denise and Dan, daughter-in-law Amy, and one incredible grandchild Hailey. He enjoys making pottery, writing, poetry, the Detroit Tigers, and nearly all music.
Officers & Trustees
The board of directors is the governing body of a nonprofit. Individuals who sit on the board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities. Board members meet periodically to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. At a minimum, an annual meeting must occur with all board members present. Additional meetings are likely to take place throughout the year so board members can discuss and make other necessary decisions. Board memberships are not set up to be permanent positions; most organizations have terms set up for board members, which typically fall between two and five years.
Elizabeth S. Murphy
Elizabeth Murphy is returning to the FIA Board of Trustees after having served two previous six-year terms in which she served as Board Secretary for five years and Board President for two more of those years. Liz is a member of the Rubens Society and previously served as the FIA’s Rubens Society Coordinator for five years. Professionally Liz is an industrial engineer, receiving her BS and MS from GMI (now Kettering University). She was a senior engineer with Buick, served on the executive staff of Flint’s Mayor Collier as Deputy City Administrator, and is currently the Senior Assistant to the Emergency Manager for the City of Flint. Liz is married to Dr. Kienan Murphy (pediatrician) and they have three adult children.
Thomas B. Lillie
Mark L. Lippincott
Eleanor E. Brownell
Ann K. Chan
James D. Draper
Founders Society President
Raymond J. Kelly, III
FIA Rep to FCCC Board
Jamile Trueba Lawand
William H. Moeller
Jay N. Nelson
Karl A. Olmsted
Dr. Brenda Rogers-Grays
Mary Coe Ryan
Sharon A. Simeon
Theresa A. Stephens-Lock
Lynne A. Taft-Draper
David T. Taylor
Gregory G. Viener
Shannon Easter White