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Education

Teens and Art: An Intern’s Experience

Gabby made pies inspired by Wayne Thiebaud's "Refrigerator Pies."
Gabby made pies inspired by Wayne Thiebaud's "Refrigerator Pies."

This past semester, I was fortunate enough to have a talented, dedicated art education student named Jessica Janzer interning as a teaching assistant for the Satellite High School Program. Jessica worked hard every Thursday and Friday on all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a program, and also taught one of the sessions. As part of her internship, she wrote the below blog post reflecting on the program. I’m thrilled that Jessica will continue to intern with me in the spring semester, too! –Chelsea Kelly, School & Teacher Programs Manager

The Milwaukee Art Museum. To most, the Museum is a beautiful and almost untouchable place – a place of high class and good taste, and of course, it is also Milwaukee’s most attractive asset. When I saw an internship opening there, I promptly jumped on the opportunity. The fact that I would be working at the Museum excited me, but I was intrigued even further when I learned it would be in the Education Department!

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Education

On Tim Gunn and Gallery Teaching

Georgia O’Keeffe, Blue B, 1959. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley. Photo credit Larry Sanders. ©2010 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Georgia O’Keeffe, Blue B, 1959 (detail). Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley. Photo credit Larry Sanders. ©2010 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

A few weeks ago, I walked home from work at around 7 PM. The city was already dark and the lights of the office buildings were still sparkling, and I was still thinking about my teens in the Satellite program. We had talked about the work of Georgia O’Keeffe that day and our hour-long conversation about her work had been rich and layered. We asked questions of Georgia, of ourselves, of art in general:

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Education

Hip-Hop in the Galleries, Inspired by Art

Dwight and Marquis Gilbert demo music-making in front of Jim Campbell, Jim Campbell, Taxi Ride to Sarah's Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society. © Jim Campbell. Photo by the author
Dwight and Marquis Gilbert demo music-making in front of Jim Campbell's Taxi Ride to Sarah's Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society. © Jim Campbell. Photo by the author.

Scratching, turntables, bass, melodies, rhythm. Not exactly vocabulary you’re used to hearing about in an art museum, is it?

In an experiment with H2O Milwaukee Music/the Peace Propaganda Project, an urban music education organization, we put teens, music educators, and video art all together in a gallery to see what would happen.

The mission: Create an original piece of music inspired by Jim Campbell’s Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio (2010).

First, we took 15 minutes to look closely at the piece, which is made up of many small LED lights programmed to blink at certain intervals, creating an unusual video installation (see video below). Teens immediately centered in on one of Campbell’s primary interests: visually representing peripheral vision. Then, with an array of equipment–turntables, laptops, keyboards, subwoofers, speakers–we set about creating a piece of music inspired by the look, mood, and rhythm of Campbell’s piece.

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Education

Satellite: Final Projects

Satellite students thrilled by the Impressionism gallery.
Satellite students thrilled by the Impressionism gallery.

In mid-December, the Satellite High School class came to a close. After fourteen weeks of gallery time, sketching, and even the occasional field trip, our class culminated with a big event: the final project. Students chose one work of art–any work of art–in the entire Museum Collection to research, write a sample gallery label, and create their own artwork in response to it. Then, on December 15, they gave us a short presentation about what they discovered and what they created. Naturally the results were pretty incredible, showing how much the students thought about their chosen artwork and how they challenged both themselves and the concepts of the artist they selected. Continuing the blog’s unofficial theme this week of student work I’m thrilled to share some highlights of the Satellite students’ final projects with you!

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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?