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Education

Teens Discuss Michelle Erickson’s Texas Tea Party

Michelle Erickson, Texas Tea Party, 2005. Chipstone Foundation, Photo by Gavin Ashworth.
Michelle Erickson, Texas Tea Party, 2005. Chipstone Foundation, Photo by Gavin Ashworth.
At the end of February, teens in the Satellite High School Program gathered around Michelle Erickson’s Texas Tea Party (2005). They’ll study this object for the whole semester, using different methods of looking to form their own interpretations. For their first session, we spent one full hour looking closely at the work and having an open-ended dialogue about what we saw, the artist’s intent, and what it all might mean.

We began our discussion with a moment of silence to take in the piece individually. Michelle Erickson packs quite a lot into her small-scale ceramic sculpture, Texas Tea Party—it’s just 8” x 8” x 8”. After a few minutes, I invited the group to share comments, ideas, and thoughts. Although we’ve been in session for a few weeks now, this is our first time as a group discussing a work of art together.

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Education

ArtWorks 2012: What’s in a Name?

Albert hard at work on a found art piece. Photo by the author
Albert hard at work on a found art piece. Photo by the author

How often do you really consider the implications of naming something?

That is exactly what sixteen teens in the spring ArtWorks program here at the Museum did last Thursday. After looking closely at the artists and works of art in Accidental Genius: Art From the Anthony Petullo Collection, we worked together as a group to think deeply about the meanings of a name, how and why art is categorized, and whether or not such categories can ever really be correct.

The ArtWorks program is an eight-week paid internship program for Milwaukee-area teens. Sixteen participants work together to create a public work of art that positively addresses an issue in the Milwaukee community, this year inspired by the works of art in Accidental Genius. They also mentor young elementary school students, touring them through the exhibition and creating art with them.

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Education

Satellite: Field Trip

Satellite Students in Katie Musolff's studio at the Pfister Hotel.
Satellite Students in Katie Musolff's studio at the Pfister Hotel.
This week, the Satellite High School students took a field trip to the Pfister Hotel to visit Katie Musolff, a full-time artist working in Milwaukee, and a Satellite graduate! Katie generously let us into her studio and shared her experiences and advice, from being a Satellite high school student, to her time at MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design), to her decision to make her art her job. Since many of the Satellite students are artists themselves, this was a great opportunity.

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Education

Satellite: Experiments

Satellite students study Northern Baroque works in the Collection galleries.
Satellite students study Northern Baroque works in the Collection galleries.

Satellite students have been tagging, talking, and sketching in the past two weeks at the Museum. Traveling through Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and France (virtually, of course), we’ve looked at figural paintings, portraits, and still lifes, and have even done some time-traveling to compare artwork hundreds of years apart.

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Education

Satellite: It Begins!

iPad with Cimabue's Madonna and Child
Our class iPad! (Forgive the photo of my desk, but we haven't taken any in-class photos yet.)

The most exciting and challenging part of my job this semester is teaching the Satellite Program, a 30-year-old program meant to introduce high school students to Western art history. Not only do I have big shoes to fill (Chief Educator Barbara Brown Lee passed the Satellite torch to me this year), but I also have a couple of big questions to consider: How do I teach a solid, but fun, overview of art history using the Museum’s collection as our textbook? How can I incorporate new technology into the class to enhance our looking experience, and not distract from the artwork?