20th and 21st Century Design Art Collection Education Studio at Home

Play Date with Art at Home: Make Your Own Futuristic Fashions!

Neckpiece made of plastic and gems resembling computer parts
Alice H. Klein, Calculation, 1984 (detail). Acrylic, cubic zirconia, peridot, amethyst, cultured pearls, gold filled wire, mother-of-pearl polyester resin, 5 × 8 3/4 × 1 1/2 in. (12.7 × 22.23 × 3.81 cm). Gift of TKO Designs Incorporated M1991.52. Photo by John R. Glembin.

In our Play Date with Art program this month, we imagined what we’d be wearing in the future, and then we used found materials to bring our vision to life. You can do the same at home, using materials from around your house! Your designs can be anything you want. Think of future styles, or think of a special occasion you’d like to dress up for.

20th and 21st Century Design American Art Collection Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: DIY “Stained Glass” Windows

Stained glass
Marion Mahony Griffin (American, 1871-1962), Window, 1907 (detail). Glass and zinc came, 24 × 29 1/2 in. (60.96 × 74.93 cm). Gift of family and friends in memory of Pamela Jacobs Keegan, architect M1984.14.
Stained glass
Marion Mahony Griffin (American, 1871-1962), Window, 1907. Glass and zinc came, 24 × 29 1/2 in. (60.96 × 74.93 cm). Gift of family and friends in memory of Pamela Jacobs Keegan, architect M1984.14.

Having to stay inside can get dull—especially if it’s too cold, too windy, or too rainy to play outside. I find myself staring out my window quite a lot these days. It got me thinking: what could make my window more fun? How could I make my indoors more colorful while also sharing some fun with my neighbors, who may be looking out their windows? For our first at-home art activity, I drew inspiration from leaded stained glass windows!

Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: How to Make Your Own Tangram Shapes

Pieces of paper cut into different shapes

A tangram is a puzzle made of seven shapes that together form a large square. The shapes can be arranged in many different ways to resemble things in the world around us—or create interesting patterns. Here’s how you can create your own set of tangrams to use at home!

Art Art News Education

Living Legacy: The Junior Docent School Program Fosters Art Education for Over 40 Years!

Student reproduction of Cubi IV by artist David Smith.

Offered at the Museum since 1976, the Junior Docent School Program (JDSP) is a multi-year, multi-visit program for upper elementary students. Legendary Museum Educator Barbara Brown Lee developed the program along with two art-advocating Milwaukee school teachers, and it has since become a model for Museums across the nation, adding depth to art education with its intentional multi-visit design. 

Art Art News Education

Milwaukee Art Museum Celebrates Arts in Education Year-round

Two young girls looking at a vase within a glass case

At the Museum, the impact of arts education can often be seen and heard—from the awe-inspired gazes upon entering the Calatrava-designed building, to the questions, discussions, and laughter that frequently fill the galleries.

20th and 21st Century Design Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial Education Events Exhibitions

The House of Cards Project

UWM-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts students (left to right) Anna Emerson, Paul Manley, and Jessica Schubkegel installing the House of Cards spiral. Photo by Ray Chi.

In the early 1950s, designers Charles and Ray Eames painstakingly arranged penny cars, pencils, pills, and papers to photograph for their House of Cards construction set. They probably never imagined that decades later, thousands of children and adults in the Milwaukee region would meticulously decorate their own House of Cards, let alone that these cards would be installed together in a towering spiral at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America.

Art Behind the Scenes Education

Community Partner Project: Penfield Montessori Academy

Throughout the month of January, families who visited the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio made art for other kids to enjoy by contributing to a community mural that is displayed at Penfield Montessori Academy.

pma-verticalPenfield Montessori Academy employs a child-centered exploratory approach to learning, while also allowing children with special needs to grow in the classroom amongst their peers. They work in collaboration with Penfield Children’s Center, a fellow Kohl’s Hometown Partner, extending the opportunities that families can receive into their child’s schooling, as well as providing after-school care. Penfield Children’s Center creates a positive start in life for infants and children, many of whom have developmental delays or disabilities, by providing early education, health services, equipment, and family programming.

Penfield Montessori Academy opened for their inaugural school year in September 2016, so our Youth and Family Programs team met with their staff to brainstorm about what we could create to help beautify the school. We decided on a community mural, taking inspiration from artwork at the Museum and Penfield Montessori Academy’s mission of growing and learning together.

Being a part of this process was an amazing experience. I have the pleasure of working with a fantastic team of educators who designed this mural as a way to invite kids and their families to contribute to a project that not only provides them with a unique art making experience at the Museum, but benefits the Milwaukee community as well.

When families dropped by the studio, they drew from real flowers and plants, inspired by Nature and Opulence: The Art of Martin Johnson Heade, using a magnifying glass to get a closer look. They also drew from a variety of school supplies: pencils, scissors, glue, and other items that kids might recognize from their classrooms. Drawings were made directly onto transparencies, which were then transferred to the canvas, and painted. (See photos of the entire process in the slideshow below!)

It’s not quite as simple as I’m making it sound. We had a lot of help from our visitors, as well as incredible staff. But when it all came together… wow! Just look at this beauty!

My favorite part: that sun! [insert heart-eyed emoji here]
We unveiled the mural to the students and staff on February 21st, and boy, were they excited. As a part of the unveiling, Kohl’s Color Wheels, the Museum’s off-site studio program, provided a hands-on art activity to the kids at Penfield. The kids created colorful paintings from real flowers!

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Penfield Montessori Academy and Penfield Children’s Center hold a very special place in my heart with everything they do to serve families in our community. I am constantly amazed by their dedication, and I’m thrilled to call their amazing school home for this mural.

To see more photos from the mural unveiling and the beautiful paintings the kids created, check out the Flickr album.


MAM’s The Word

NOVEMBER 2016 – Fall Edition, Issue #1

MAM’s THE WORD is a newsletter produced by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Teen Advisory Council for teens who want to learn more about the arts in Milwaukee and be engaged with thoughts and ideas. It features our own creative work, opinions, and responses to the Museum, our community, and our world.

Behind the Scenes Education

Reflections of an Intern: On Teaching and Mission Statements

The 2015 Spring Satellite Interns. Photo by Front Room Photography
The 2015 Spring Satellite Interns. Photo by Front Room Photography
Reflecting back on my time at the Milwaukee Art Museum interning with the Satellite High School Program brings many valuable memories and thoughts to the surface. I’ve been privileged to have had the opportunity to work with dozens of bright, creative, and enthusiastic students from high schools around Milwaukee. Looking back on those weekly Thursday meetings, there are too many good times to mention. There were not so good times too–students having difficulty with final projects, frustrations with resume editing, and challenges giving tours to younger kids. These are the situations that make a pre-service teacher like me stronger; I was forced to come up with strategies for helping to work through student’s problems along with them in a way that was conducive to their unique learning styles.

Behind the Scenes Education

Community Collaborations: Art and Music with H2O Milwaukee Music

Four years ago, in 2011, I was introduced to Dwight and Marquis Gilbert—otherwise known as H2O Milwaukee Music—and the teen programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum were forever changed.