Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

When Schools and Museums Meet

Untitled by Natalie Buckner, 11th Grade. Mixed media: newspaper and paint. 2011. Image courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

When it comes to arts education, schools and art museums are natural partners. Schools come equipped with audiences ready to learn, while museums have no shortage of artwork and arts knowledge to share.

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) is highlighting the fruits of these partnerships at their exhibit Museums: pARTners in Learning, which is currently installed at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC through June 22, 2012. The exhibit showcases 40 student works that were created through school programs at 15 different museums, all of which are participating in Blue Star Museums this summer. The programs focus primarily on art creation, but many are designed to increase literacy, language skills, leadership, and self-confidence as well.

Below are two of the programs featured in the exhibit, and some of the wonderful artwork they’ve produced.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma

In a school district with no visual arts teachers on staff, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art has come to play an integral role in students’ artistic development. The museum’s pARTner Project offers two art workshops per school year to fourth-grade students in Norman, Oklahoma. By studying pieces in the museum’s collection, students learn the basics of color, texture, space, and line, then create their own works in response to what they’ve seen. The images below were inspired by a lesson on Georgia O’Keeffe.

Untitled by Allys Amuny, 4th Grade. Tempera on paper. 2011. Image courtesy of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, Oklahoma.

Untitled by Jordan Walker, 4th Grade. Tempera on paper. 2011. Image courtesy of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, Oklahoma.

Flint Institute of Art

In Flint, Michigan, artistically gifted high school students can participate in the Pre-College Portfolio Development Program at the Flint Institute of Art. Designed to promote students’ academic and professional success, the three-year program offers studio coursework, and writing and research practice. Students leave the program with a polished portfolio, ready to pursue the next step of their studies. The below images are from student portfolios.

Boot and Heel by McKenzie Tucker, 12th grade. Graphite. 2011. Image courtesy of Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan

Foot Study by Alison McDowell, 12th grade. Charcoal. 2011. Image courtesy of Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan
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