dennos museum center

Craig Hadley is the new executive director of the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan.
Cindy O'Dell

When Eugene Jenneman announced his retirement from the Dennos Museum Center last year, the art museum in Traverse City began a national search for his replacement. Jenneman had been the first and only executive director of the museum since it opened nearly 30 years ago.

After narrowing the search, their top choice was 35 year-old Craig Hadley, who spent the last eight years as curator of the art museum at DePauw University in Indiana.

Jason Dake, the education curator at the Dennos Museum points out some art during a recent walk-through of the museum.
Dan Wanschura

The Dennos Museum in Traverse City has almost three-thousand works of art in its collection.

At any given time, around 280 of those works are on display, including Inuit sculptures, contemporary paintings and modern photographs.

But on April 14th, the museum wants visitors to ignore most of these works and just focus on a handful of them.  

A painting of Wilberforce Falls, which is located north or the Arctic Cirlce in Canada. Cory Trépanier was inspired to paint the Canadian north in his project, "Into the Arctic."
Cory Trépanier

When Canadian Cory Trépanier graduated college, he jumped into the world of commercial art. He did airbrush painting for ad agencies and magazines. A lot of work inside a studio.

Then when he was 33, he took a trip to Lake Superior to paint the natural landscape.

“That was a turning point for me,” he says. "All I could recall, with my wife in the vehicle, was talking about, ‘how am I going to spend more time painting my own work?’”


Buffy Sainte-Marie

Folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie will perform in Traverse City Tuesday night.

Sainte-Marie’s career has spanned more than 50 years and taken her all over the world. In the 1960s, she was known as part of the folk music revival, especially for her protest song Universal Soldier. In the 1970s, she was blacklisted from radio airwaves because of her advocacy for indigenous rights.

But Sainte-Marie objects to the terms "fighter" or "warrior" being used to describe her.

The Dennos Museum will break ground on an addition to its Inuit Gallery in 2016.
Daniel Wanschura

The Dennos Museum Center is expanding its Inuit Gallery thanks to a one million dollar gift from Barbara and Dudley Smith III. Currently, the museum has about 1500 works of Inuit art in its possession. But, because of space limitations the museum is currently only able to showcase around 100 of those pieces.

Earlier today, the museum unveiled plans that will add more than 2,600 square feet to the already existing Inuit Gallery. Museum Director Gene Jenneman says it’s the Inuit art collection that gives the museum world-wide acclaim. 

Gene Jenneman, Dennos Museum

Last night, the Traverse City Commission introduced a new policy on how the city seeks out pieces of public art.

Public art has been a touchy subject in Traverse City for years. In 2008, public outcry derailed plans to put a modern art sculpture called Time Myth on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay. Time Myth is a 30-foot-tall, angular, white sculpture that’s been displayed in a courtyard at the K-Mart headquarters in Troy.

The public conversation about Time Myth quickly deteriorated and the idea was scrapped.

Sara Hoover

NOTE: Monks from the Mystical Arts of Tibet who are in Traverse City this week will also perform at Milliken Auditorium this Saturday, and live on Classical IPR Thursday April 17, in the 10 a.m. hour.

The Dennos Museum Center of Northwestern Michigan College is hosting Tibetan Buddhist monks this week.

"The Spirit Of Harriet Tubman" Lives On

Feb 3, 2014

Harriet Tubman was an American slave who escaped to freedom and became an outspoken abolitionist. She was one of the most active conductors of the Underground Railroad which led to many slaves finally getting their freedom. Tubman died in 1913 at the age of 93. But her story lives on through the work of Canadian actress Leslie McCurdy. Leslie McCurdy will present her one-woman show – “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” - at West Shore Community College on Thursday and the Dennos Museum Center on Friday. 

The Dennos Gets Seven Warhol Prints

Jan 23, 2014

Seven original prints by Andy Warhol were given to Traverse City's Dennos Museum Center this fall. The Dennos' Curator of Education Jason Dake says Warhol intended for small museums to get some of his work.   

Tuvan Throat Singing Hits TC

Nov 15, 2013

On Saturday, the Tuvan throat singing group Alash will perform at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City. Tuva is just south of Siberia. Throat singing is a major part of Tuvan culture. IPR talked with Alash's manager and translator Sean Quirk.