Artrain, USA is now in Flagstaff, AZ. http://www.artrainusa.org/index.html
Flagstaff is only the third venue, so bugs are still being worked out; all
in all the exhibition is terrific.
Friday was the first of two days of educational tours. Students in my art
ed program at NAU went through professional development provided by the
Artrain, USA staff and now are leading educational tours for school kids.
The Artrain is an art museum that travels from town to town. The current
exhibition is "Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture." This exhibit
has contemporary Native American works of art that are wonderful. The
artworks are thought provoking and break the stereotypical views that most
people hold about Native American art. I encourage you to visit the
exhibition if the train comes to your town.
My students have been asked to evaluate the teaching materials and content
of the tours. They've also been asked to make suggestions for improving the
tour "script." My only concern is that the tour content speaks to a lowest
common denominator and assumes that most visitors have little or no
knowledge of how to interpret artworks. In other words, the tour content is
heavily weighted towards formal analysis and lecture. I am sure that the
NAU students will point this out and I am hopeful that they will include
suggestions for better questioning strategies that go deeper than
identifying types of lines or colors as well as types of questions that
engage viewers with the artworks.