welcome to the museum of friends
The Museum Of Friends (MoF) is a contemporary art museum that opened in October, 2006 in the Southern Colorado rural community of Walsenburg. Brendt and Maria Cocchiarelli’s shared vision for the new museum was to create a place where everyone feels welcomed and the art created by all people valued. The initial collection of 600 works given by their friends became the core of the collection. Over the last 15 years it has grown to over 1600 works that includes paintings, sculptures, fine art prints, drawings, photographs and digital media. MoF occupies 10,000 square feet of museum display space, with classroom areas, a gift shop and a lower level. MoF's inclusive and egalitarian open door policy intents to uplift the community through engaging programs to develop creativity, inclusion and educational opportunities. Many exhibits public and educational programs explore cross cultural understanding and tolerance the necessary ingredients for a just and peaceful society.
MoF’s grand opening in October, 2007 encouraged the community to explore the building with tours on the 2nd floor that included: the permanent collection, the administrative offices, an art resource library, visiting artist apartment and two galleries devoted to the Pacific. These explore pre-Columbian Mexican, Australian, Japanese, Southeast Asian and focus on Aboriginal Polynesian artifacts. The works on display are greatly treasured by Brendt Berger as they have been passed down to him from his Native Hawaiian ancestors.
In 2010, MoF began to occupy the entire building including the first and lower level establishing the changing exhibition and educational programs, and gift shop Made in Walsenburg.
Talking It Out: Getting to Agreement
May 15-July 24
A unique photo and story exhibit that features Coloradans working together to solve problems. The exhibit illustrates seven stories of people and communities that have made a choice to solve their problems constructively. It gives evidence of the changes that can be made when we deliberately choose collaborative conflict resolution methods.
“Picturing Women Inventors” showcases the breakthroughs, motivations, and challenges women encountered while pursuing their goals as inventors. The poster exhibition highlights stories of inventors like Marilyn Hamilton, who after a hang-gliding accident in 1978 left her paralyzed, invented a lightweight wheelchair that was easy to maneuver. Diversity of background and age are showcased including inventor Alexis Lewis, who at 12-years-old in 2011 was inspired to adapt a traditional Native American sled, called a travois, by adding wheels to create a simpler way to transport families and their belongings in Somalia.