Tag Archives: Art education

Docent. Funny Title for a Fun Job

Docents are one of the best assets to museums. They volunteer their time to learn in-depth about exhibitions and then share their learned knowledge with visitors on guided tours. They field questions and comments about art, the process of art,  and who it is making art in order to aide patrons to a better understanding of something that can be intimidating. It’s a stimulating exchange of ideas and insight between guide and guest.

KMAC recently revived the docent program and we welcome Dana Moore and Gretchen Treitz Brown to the team of dedicated museum volunteers. The current exhibition The New Art of the Loom is their second exhibition giving guided tours. They also guide school field trip tours. Docent tours are available every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at 3pm. Simply meet at KMAC’s front reception desk. There is no added fee for the guided tour.

We asked Dana and Gretchen to give us a few observations about being a docent and how they came to volunteer at KMAC.

Gretchen Treitz Brown
“As a docent, I provide tours to facilitate a rewarding museum experience.  I love to help the viewer connect with a piece.  I feel privileged to receive the training from KMAC curators and educators. At KMAC, there is a rich and diverse audience; my experience has been with local, national, and international visitors.  My conversations with visitors bring out more and different ways to view things–visitors and docents can interact and learn from each other.  Each time I give a tour, I notice something new.  Something magical happens when a visitor takes the time to contemplate a detail I might point out.  I tend to talk about my favorite pieces, however, it has been so valuable to learn about an unfamiliar artist or process.  Besides the continuous training process, I enjoy the additional reading and studying about each exhibit.  I can answer questions, thus offering a more satisfying experience.  My interactions with a piece are heightened when visitors share their insights, whether students or adults.  Because I have a significant commitment to the visual arts, it has been a joy to attend curator tours, lectures, exhibition openings, orientation, and on-going training.”

Dana Moore
“I first became aware of KMAC when my son was small and he participated in Winter Break workshops and Summer Art Camp.  I have participated in several hands-on workshops and even worked with metal in a session taught by Craig Kaviar.

I’ve always had an interest in art since childhood and love the process that goes into creating an artwork.  My family loves to travel and museums are always on our list of places to visit.

I am a retired Speech Language Pathologist who worked primarily in the public schools.  Volunteering as a Docent will still let me show students the process and creative thought that goes into a work of art.  I like listening to the KMAC staff and always look forward to learning and seeing new exhibits.”

If you’re passionate about art and love to share this excitement with others, consider becoming a KMAC docent. Email Dane at dane@kmacmuseum.org for more details.

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Weaving A Community With Our Stories

Scientists have proven the positive health benefits we receive when we journal or create art to express our life experiences, so the museum presents the perfect opportunity for the community to do both. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, in partnership with The Little Loomhouse, present Weaving A Community With Our Stories, an interactive weaving project designed to initiate the discovery of personal stories that bind us together in hope and healing as a community. This project is in conjunction with the current exhibition The New Art of the Loom: Contemporary International Tapestry and is open to the Louisville community and museum visitors until January 25, 2015.
KMAC contacted local community organizations (Neighborhood House, Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Gilda’s Club, Youth Detention Services, ESL Newcomer’s Academy, The Healing Place, JCTC ESL Students and others) and asked the people they serve to create story cloths to be used as the warp or first layer of the community tapestry. Participants received hand-dyed blank story cloths upon which they wrote their personal stories through prose, poetry or drawings. The warp consists of 100 story cloths that are interwoven on a large standing loom built by YouthBuild Louisville and installed in the second floor gallery of the Museum.

KMAC Educator, Sarah McCartt-Jackson, said, “the Museum has made and enriched connections with many organizations and voices that otherwise might be unheard, marginalized, or misunderstood.” Mrs. McCartt-Jackson helped in facilitating the students from the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program at Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC), which provide a great example of these powerful stories:

“Coming to America is a big dream for many people but living is different reality.”

“The languages of the world wake me up every day! I love the sea. I am snow. My name is your name. I believe in music. One world, many voices”

“My name is Mohamed. I was born in Somalia and grown up in Kenya. Came to America in the age of 19 years. My English was very bad. Coming to the United States was very good opportunity for my family and I. The reason I go to school today is to get my social work degree!”

The Weft Phase of the project is crafted by weaving in additional story cloths from Museum visitors, which continues throughout The New Art of the Loom exhibit (January 25). Blank story cloths are available and located in the second floor gallery.

The Little Loomhouse

The mission of the Little Loomhouse is to promote the Lou Tate landmark home and center for textile art and education as a cultural destination through preservation of the three historic cabins and education of textile folk art for all ages. The Little Loomhouse is owned and operated by the Lou Tate Foundation.

KMAC Current Exhibition

The New Art of the Loom: Contemporary International Tapestry and Looming Local: Contemporary Kentucky Tapestry feature artists who explore a broad range of themes from cultural identity and formalism to storytelling and history through the labor-intensive process of weaving.

Art-Ed Goes Hi-Tech

It seems kind of fitting that on Election Day, KMAC’s Education Studio launched the inaugural use of a hi-tech tool that will help in teaching to the masses. Through the generous donations of the KMAC Board of Directors, the Education Department was able to purchase a much-needed document camera and projector. The Elmo TT-12i Interactive Document Camera System allows museum educators to demonstrate more complex art skills from a central demo table without having to spend valuable time demonstrating to each individual table. As we know, field trips are on a very strict schedule and educators must balance the tour, instruction, and make time carefully. Oh, and don’t forget about lunch! The Elmo, with its cute name and conjuring of that well known red Muppet, also has a built-in microphone and recording ability so the Ed team can prepare instruction videos in advance.

doc camera


Additionally, the Education Department was able to purchase a IN114a XGA 3000 Lumen DLP Projection System in order to use the document camera and to show videos, Power Point presentations, and interactive websites to enhance the art curriculum.  In ode to our forefathers, here’s to Life , Liberty and the pursuit of Art.

KMAC APPROVES THIS MESSAGE.   

A Special Thank You to Kat Lewis, Daniel Maye, Elizabeth Mays, and Mary Stone for their generous donations.

 

 

A Day in the Life of a KMAC Educator

By Heather D’Andrea

Every day is different as a museum educator at KMAC, which always keeps my job exciting and rewarding. On any given day I could be teaching in a classroom as part of our in-depth curriculum program offered to area schools, touring students through the Museums’ exhibitions, instructing a hands-on art project in the Education Studio, facilitating a drop-in art workshop or visiting one of our artist in residence at a school. I get the opportunity to engage with people of all ages through art, which is truly awesome! I thought I would give you all a look into a typical day for me at KMAC:

Wednesday:
9:00: Arrive, get settled, check my email and run downstairs to clean up a bit from yesterday’s workshop.

9:15: Museum staff meeting!

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9:50: Leave the staff meeting early; the kids will be here in 10 minutes, so I quickly get everything together that I need for my lesson.

10-11:30: Teach 4th graders from Lebanon Elementary about the art in the museum. I always try to get the kids to think critically and creatively when looking at art by prompting them with questions and tasks. I ask them to imagine themselves in the artwork and to talk about their adventures or to listen to the sound of the recorded Matthew Ronay performance and think through how that sound was made with his artwork. I also give the kids the opportunity to draw from the artwork and do a few activities. This always leads to new ideas and great interpretations.

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11:30: Leave for one of my artist residencies at The Kentucky School for the Blind. (KMAC sends a professional artist to work in schools for a hands-on art project. This is truly an amazing partnership that has been going strong for years). I arrive every Wednesday and help the teaching artist, Suzy Hatcher, with the largest and youngest class at KSB, the K-3 class. Today we make pinch pot monsters. They are awesome!

1:15: Return to KMAC from KSB and help out at the front desk and shop during lunch shift. Everyone at KMAC pitches in to help out.

2:15: Head to the 3rd floor Education Studio and get prepped to facilitate an art workshop at Humana. Fund for the Arts is providing Humana employees a coffee and art making break session to thank them for their generous donations. These donations help to fund the arts in Louisville, KMAC included.

2:45-3:45: Arrive at Humana headquarters and prepare for a fun art drop-in workshop. Today we are doing a printmaking workshop where  participants will make their own prints from their own custom designed stamp. So fun!

3:50-4:20: Return to the museum, unload my supplies and quickly run to check my email and make a few phone calls.

4:25-5:00: Prep for my printmaking workshop tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with La Rue County High School and bring up some new clay for our members of ClayWorks for their next month in the studio.

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