In an effort to showcase the amazing and interesting things that happen in Education over the course of a week, I’m starting a new blog Week-in-Review column.
Our week starts on a Saturday with Family Art Labs.This week families worked to create a Ganesha Shrine for the program Portable Praise: Shrines to Go! Using one of our newly acquired teaching pieces, families decorated and built a beautiful shrine for a standing Ganesha sculpture. We were so impressed that the shrine made it into our display cases with two other Ganesh statues.
Monday was an amazing day for introductions at the museum. The third cohort of the Apprentice Museum Educator Program started with four new students. These undergraduate students work in the galleries facilitating school tours, visit schools to offer pre-visits and assist with Teen programs during the week. We’re excited to have students from Columbia, Parsons and Hunter College (Go Hawks!) this year and can’t wait to see them with students. Also joining us for the first time were five students in a new teen program called Teen Connectors. These students have completed RMA Teens and RMA Teen Guide Council, and are now going to give back by reporting on all of the amazing things our teens do (I’m looking forward to a new Teen Blog). Two of the Teen connectors will have been with the museum for four years, and THEY WANT TO DO MORE! Our Teaching Artists also made their way back to the museum to start preparing for school partnerships in the Thinking Through Art program. This year, students are going to work on creating sculptures of hybrid animals. Our Teaching Artists were able to work in the galleries and then created their own animals to practice with materials and techniques.
On Wednesday we had a special group of Graduate Students from Fashion Institute of Technology kick off an amazing conceptual design project where they will be designing our façade, lobby space and second floor for the year 2015. We toured the entire museum and discussed what we wanted the designers to think about- and to use a “Dewey-ian” thought: we hope that they stretch their minds to imagine things as if they were otherwise. At the museum we are lucky to have an incredibly talented and compassionate group of staff designers who offered their time to discuss their own design process and challenges in the museum. We’ll be keeping you posted on future developments and conceptual renderings. In the evening, our Adult Writing Course finished up its second amazing session, and the one participant was moved to write:
“I want to say how wonderful I am finding the writing workshop, and I know that other participants feel the same way. The Rubin creates a tone that is warm and encouraging and demanding and challenging at the same time, which is the ideal writing workshop atmosphere, and using the museum is a delicious inspiration.”
On Thursday Laura Lombard and I walked over to 22nd street to meet our new Faculty Fellows at Baruch College – great professors who will be working to create curriculum based on the museum’s collection and exhibitions. We’re gearing up for the entire Freshman Class of Baruch to visit the museum in our second year of partnership and are incredibly honored to be working with such a great group of talented educators. That evening, we held our Member’s Preview for Once Upon Many Times: Legends and Myths in Himalayan Art. We worked really hard on this exhibition which has 14 Audio stops, a great computer interactive piece and guided looking books (take a look by clicking the link).
On Friday our Family Learning and Early Childhood team had a group meeting to brainstorm new ways to engage families in the museum. We’re going to be developing a family audio tour soon, and are thinking about how to create more spaces for families to be together on the gallery floors. We came up with an idea to find periscopes for our shorter family visitors who have trouble seeing smaller images at the top of large artworks. The afternoon was all about access as the Mindful Connections program launched this afternoon, seeing two different groups of visitors with dementia toured the museum with their caregivers; a separate ASL tour of Masterworks of Himalayan Art was also facilitated for visitors who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. In the evening the Education Center was Museum Education Central as over 80 Museum Educators participated in the New York Museum Education Roundtable Meet and Greet. It was a great way to kick off the fall season of events in the Education Center, and to test out our newly acquired button maker- it seems that everyone loves mini-buttons.
As always – more to come next week. If you can’t get enough of the Rubin Museum, you can always add one of our colorful new screensaver images to your desktop.
These incredibly beautiful images were designed by our own Graphics & Branding Creative Manager, Andrea Pemberton. Download the whole set from Flickr!