The Clay Center (art/science museum in my hometown of Charleston, WV)
has asked my students to curate an exhibit from their permanent
collection! The exhibit opens April 3, and we've been very busy. So
far, we've researched the artworks, developed a theme, selected the
paintings for the exhibit, narrowed that selection a few times, built
a scale model of the space and hung our scale model paintings to make
sure the art fits, and we're currently working on the text panels.
This has been a fascinating project, and I have really loved working
with our counterparts at the Clay Center. We've been blogging our
experiences, and I thought maybe other art teachers might enjoy seeing
what we've been doing. Maybe you could approach your local museums
with the idea. It's a great project because kids get to see what
really goes on behind the scenes. We've used a lot of math skills in
our model-making, and of course writing for our text panels. We've
had to get into history a bit to understand the relevance of the
artworks with historic themes (Civil Rights movement! Civil War!
Coal War!!!) Plus, we got lots of great behind-the-scenes experiences
with the museum, from checking out the art in person in the archives
to meeting with the museum's in-house creative services department to
finalize all the text panels and labels. The museum has given us
unprecedented access to all their resources. This project is an art
teacher's dream come true!!!