For the past twenty-eight years, the first weekend in May has been a time to celebrate the arts at the MMFA and in the Blount Cultural Park. This year’s Flimp Festival will be held on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. You won’t want to miss this event, which will feature all the traditional favorites, plus some happy surprises!
The Flimp Festival at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was inspired by the bronze fountain created by Alabama artist Geneva Mercer in the MMFA’s collection, which is on view in our Foyer for the day of the festival paying homage to the origin of the word Flimp, or Flower Imp. The Museum is partnering with BTW Magnet High School for the fourth year in a row and will showcase the talents of these local students from the Montgomery Public School System.
Traditionally, the festivities start off at 10:30 pm with the Do-Dah Parade of costumed pets, featuring dogs from the Montgomery Humane Society. Students from BTW act as guides for these worthy animals who are seeking their forever homes, dressing them up in costumes, walking with them in the parade, and then presenting them to the public to be adopted. We encourage everyone to bring their pet in their most colorful attire to walk in the parade and compete for prizes awarded for costume creativity. Sign up in advance online, or the morning of the Festival from 10:00 to 10:20. To learn more, visit our Flimp Festival event page.
After this rousing start, the day is filled with activity around the grounds and in the building for families and visitors of all ages. Colorful chalk art fills the parking area, BTW students provide theatre, music, and dance performances on two stages, our permanent collection provides inspiration for our “Treasure Hunt,” and there are hands-on art activities in our studios, plus much more. The theme for Flimp 2017 is Alabama Quilts and Quilting with our honored guest Yvonne Wells, whose quilts are featured in our MMFA collection. Staff members and volunteers from the Alabama Department of Archives and History will be demonstrating the process of ginning cotton with a replica cotton gin while providing insight into the history of quilting in Alabama.
This year, our grounds are undergoing a transition as we build the Museum’s sculpture garden on the eastern side of the building. For that reason, parking will be relocated, and we encourage you to consult this year’s Flimp Festival page for a map that will assist you in finding your way to parking as well as locating Flimp’s many events. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @montgomerymfa to learn more about the schedule, upcoming events and any updates or changes!
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00 to 2:00 to experience all the fun of Flimp!
At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts there are many opportunities and activities for volunteers to be involved in. Volunteers can assist at the First Impressions Desk, where they greet visitors and provide information about current activities and exhibits, or work on special projects or museum-wide events. Docents are special volunteers who are trained to lead gallery tours, teach studio lessons and lead art projects for the general public. These are but a few of the roles docents play at the museum.
Volunteers and Docents spend hundreds of hours each year here at the museum. I thought it might interest you to know what several of them said in response to the following question:
“What drew you to the museum as a place to share your time and energy?”
- “My docent friend, Grace, was a new docent and she kept telling me about the new adventures she was having, and I finally decided that I wanted to be part of the fun.” – Penny Thompson, Docent
- “I was newly retired and relocated and wanted to find something to do while giving back to the community. I had always been interested in art and fell in love with the museum.” – George Jacobsen, Docent
- “I love the atmosphere of the museum – free, artistic and it seems like people who visit want to immerse themselves into the artistic world.” – Meili Wang, First Impressions Volunteer, Special Events Volunteer and Muse (teen council member)
“When my husband and I first moved to Montgomery (over 20 years ago) we lived in a rental home. I would visit the museum several times a week to lift my spirits and soul. I found out from a retired professor at AUM that I might be able to teach workshops at the museum and my volunteering branched out into being a docent once I retired from teaching art.” – Maria Freedman, Docent
- “After retiring I was looking for something to do. I thought about being an Uber driver, but somehow that didn’t feel right. My friend suggested that I give the museum a try (at the First Impressions Desk) and I have enjoyed seeing the public on a weekly basis. I get to come into a wonderful setting and imagine traveling to fabulous places with the American artists that have their artwork displayed in MMFA.” – Jack Banker, First Impressions Volunteer
- “I have done volunteer work at several other places in the community. After coming to the museum I found it to be “My Happy Place.” I can feel like I am doing something good while I am there. I like being busy. I can assist the educational staff with projects: cutting out fish for the 5th-grade tours or helping visitors find more ways to enjoy their visit.” – Jeanne Polis, First Impressions Volunteer
Next time’s question answered through Volunteer Voices will be:
“Do you have a favorite or rewarding moment with visitors of the museum?”
Image 1: Mattie DeJarnette, volunteer, at First Impressions Desk
Image 2: Frank Gitschier, docent, in Permanent Collection Galleries
Image 3: Lisa Newcomb, docent, in Permanent Collection Galleries
Image 4: Liz Land, docent, in ARTWORKS