• SCRIPPS TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS • SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2008 •
BEHIND THE SCENES BY PETER PRINGLE Correspondent VERO BEACH - They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The thousands of annual visitors to the Vero Beach Museum of Art see it in the hundreds of works displayed in the crowd end exhibition schedule. But conservator Jim Liccione sees beau ty in one object at a time. On this day, it's Jane Manus' sculpture "The End of the -Day" from the museum's permanent col lection. In the bright and airy prep area that doubles as a shipping and receiving bay, the 20-year employee is applying his considerable restoration skills to the once rusting piece. "After being displayed outdoors at a private home for some years, it was gifted to us," said Jennifer Bailey Forbes, curator of exhibitions and collections. "It had suf fered significant deterioration." Liccione, who has primary responsibility for the indoor and outdoor sculptures, at tributes much of the deterioration to the cli mate and salt air. "We expect to renovate out door pieces every five years," he said. "It can be a costly and time-consuming process." He has completed the rust removal and the priming. All that remains is the apply cation of the finishing coat, a job that the sculptor and former New York film indus> try metalworker expects to wrap up in a few days. Liccione is one of a small team of behind-the-scenes museum professionals whose work goes largely unnoticed by vis itors, but whose contributions are ap plauded by executive director and CEO Dr. Lucinda Gedeon.
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Behind the curtain rehabilitating art - and getting it ready for display is an ongoing process at Vero Beach museum Jennifer Bailey Forbes, curator of the Vero Beach Museum of Art, inspects the sculpture PHOTO NOT INCLUDED after Liccione, left, spray painted the piece. "They are the glue of the organization, the unsung heroes," she said. "They don't get nearly enough praise." Mostly, they work behind closed and unmarked doors, like chief preparator Larry. Eishen and preparer tor Brent Von Ende. Their base of operations is the" carpentry shop, where exhibition preparation occurs. It's here that decisions on layout, lighting and all design-related art handling details are made, and walls, platforms and pedestals are designed and built. But not on this day. The shop's machines are shiny and the workbenches free of clutter.