It’s my pleasure to share the work of the teen interns in this semester’s Satellite High School Program. Fifteen students from all around Milwaukee spent a semester exploring and discussing art, touring elementary school students, going behind the scenes, speaking to staff, and learning about career skills. Then, the teens created final projects expressing how art can be made relevant to our lives today and how the Milwaukee Art Museum can be an icon for the city, inside and out. This post, part 1 of 4, showcases the work of these students in their own words.
I’m very grateful to have been a part of the Satellite High School Program here at the Milwaukee Art Museum as a college intern. Under the direction of Chelsea Kelly, Manager of Digital Learning, I participated in object studies, museum tours, and numerous discussions with a diverse and talented group of high school juniors and seniors from schools in the Milwaukee area. Throughout the duration of this weekly program, I’ve shared laughs, exchanged ideas, composed hip hop music, and viewed countless works of art with these capable and intelligent young artists. In the short four months since the beginning of Satellite, I’ve seen each student grow on an individual basis as an artist, each with a unique and distinct creative voice that enriches the museum community, which in turn serves as a reminder of the vital importance of programs such as these.
On one of the last warm days in October, I led sixteen teens into the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Postcards from America: Milwaukee exhibition. This blog post is a description of our experience spending one hour together looking at a single photographer’s work in the exhibition.
Postcards from America: Milwaukee shows the recent work of eleven Magnum Photographers, invited to photograph Milwaukee during the prior year as part of the Postcards for America project. None of these photographers were local, so their photographs—ranging from portraits at the Wisconsin State Fair to polaroids to an installation memorial for a deceased musician—were provocative for a group of high schoolers who have spent their whole lives here.
In my previous two posts in this Reflective Evaluation series, I detailed all the ways we found and evaluated data to show teen participants in the Satellite program became more reflective. So: did the interviews, exit slips, readability tests, and final projects all add up to a full image of the impact that a year’s worth of reflective practice can have on students?
In part two of my three posts on this year’s Satellite teen program, I’m sharing the unexpected data that helped me see the bigger picture about my students’ ability to reflect thanks to being in the program.
Over the past four years, I have worked with hundreds of Milwaukee-area teens who love art, and who, over their time in teen programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum, grow to love museums as well.
I have always had a sense that my students grow over their time at the Museum. This year, though, to really study that growth, we designed our longstanding Satellite High School Program as a year-long experience to explore exactly how weekly sessions at an art museum might change the thinking of our teen participants. To that end, our program outcome for students was that they would show an increased ability to reflect upon their own experiences and performance.
For my internship with the Satellite High School program, Chelsea, my supervisor, let me organize the elementary school visits, where our teens taught much younger students about art in our collection. The teen interns work with students from Milwaukee Public Schools Community Learning Centers (CLCs) to introduce them to the Museum Collection and the feature exhibition. This was a challenging yet rewarding experience to manage!
As an upcoming art educator myself, I found I had to take into account different layers of teaching. I first only thought about the lesson I would teach to the teens–meaning I would show them what exactly we would be doing with the kids. But soon I realized the extra layer–that the teens would then be teaching the younger students. So essentially, I was teaching how to teach.
This is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting a variety of different positions within the Milwaukee Art Museum. Each day, hundreds of visitors enter the Milwaukee Art Museum to stare in awe at the incredible wealth of artworks within the museum’s collection. But what can too often go unrecognized is the equally awe-inspiring work of the many museum staff members, without whom the museum in its current state could not exist. “MAM Behind the Scenes” is a blog series written by Digital Learning intern Emma Fallone to showcase the wide range of positions that make up a museum, and to reveal just a few of the many people whose work makes the Milwaukee Art Museum a source of inspiration and education.
Can you give a brief description of your job, in thirty seconds or less?
I have a very far-reaching job. The great thing about my work is that in the course of one day, I can be working with kindergartners, adults, and everyone in-between. I can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in a heartbeat! I can be both serious and playful about art within a very short time, which I love. The range of my job responsibilities encompasses everything from strategic planning to teaching children. And, despite my many administrative tasks, I always try to maintain some creative projects, such as developing the education gallery or spending some time teaching tour groups, to make sure that I remain engaged and energized.
Picture this: Fall semester, high school years. You eagerly await your first art assignment, hoping to be given the added bonus of self-expression. A few weeks pass and you hand in your artwork, hoping it might be considered by your teacher for submission to the Scholastic Art Awards jurying process. Fast forward a few months–the jurying has been completed and… Congratulations! Your piece has been given a Gold Key award. You mark the Awards Ceremony date on your calendar, where your artwork will be on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and then… you wait.
But ever wonder what happens to your work while you’re waiting? Let’s take a look at the behind-the-scenes portion of the whole process.
We are just a week from opening the new exhibition in the Kohl’s Art Generation Gallery, Illusions: Near and Far! Have you ever wondered how an artist makes a work of art seem “real”? We tell all the tricks of the trade—you’ll get to see just how an artist makes us think we are looking into space when we’re really not. Better yet, you get to make your own magic!