A Day in the Life..of a Museum Educator

Every day here in the Education Department at the Rubin Museum of Art brings new tasks, challenges, and rewards. From administrative updates to material prep to leading tours in the galleries to traveling the 5 boroughs to teach, there are rarely any dull moments. Here is a slightly busier-than-usual day in the life:

8AM: Arrive at the Rubin Museum to meet with Jennifer, our School Programs Intern and double check supplies.

8:15AM: Begin our Journey out to a school visit in Jamaica Estates, Queens. This morning is the last session in a 3 part Himalayan Art Encounter at UNIS Queens!

9:20: Time to start teaching the 3rd session of the HAE. We have been studying the idea of travel and artifacts that would be carried during travel in the Himalayas. More specifically we have been looking at Tsa-Tsa and Tsa-Tsa Molds.

Metal Tsa- Tsa Mold

Clay Tsa-Tsa

Today, students are carving a personal symbol into rubber to create a mold. Next they are pressing lightweight clay into the rubber mold to make a personal tsa-tsa!

Materials for student art making

11:00AM: After a successful last session and cleanup, Jennifer and I head back to the Rubin Museum.

12:30PM: Check-in with the 3-D Mandala Workshop happening in the Education Center. I find a room full of students concentrating deeply on creating a personal 3-D Mandala!

Post-Workshop, all materials back on the cart

1:30PM: Head over to the Museum to meet my afternoon tour group of 6th grade boys studying World Religion in their school.

1:45PM: Realize that one of the parent chaperones for the trip is a very public, very famous, (and very kind) celebrity! But stay focused, we are still talking about the Shrine Room!

2:00PM: After telling the story of Durga slaying the Buffalo Demon- be blown away by the comparison one students draws between Durga and Eowyn of Lord of the Rings!

In the Durga story- the Buffalo Demon cannot be defeated by man nor beast, neither day nor night. In the end is Durga (a female) who slays him at dusk.

In Lord of the the Rings- the Nazgul Witch-King cannot be defeated by the hand of a man. It is finally Eowyn (a female) who slays the Nazgul Witch-King, revealing herself by taking off her helmet and declaring “I am no man”. (Sorry for any spoilers)

Durga sculpture in the Rubin Museum of Art

3:15PM: Back to the Subway! My colleague Larissa and I make our way out to Long Island City to gather materials at Materials for the Arts.

3:45PM: Arrive at Materials for the Arts, check-in, and we’re on our way!


Larissa finds some old friends

Late afternoon light at MFTA

  5:00PM: Check-out of Materials for the Arts with our supplies for K-12 Workshops on-site and Thinking Through Art Residency’s off-site.

Finally finished! Got what materials we came for.

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