Categories
Art Behind the Scenes Education

Reflective Evaluation: How Can Museums Change Teens–and Vice Versa? Part 1

Luis and Rosaly show their families the Museum. Photo by Front Room Photography
Luis and Rosaly show their families the Museum. Photo by Front Room Photography
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.

Categories
Art

From the Collection–Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio by Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell (American, b. 1956), Taxi Ride to Sarah's Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society, M2011.25. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell (American, b. 1956), Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio, 2010. LEDs, wire, custom electronics. Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Art Society, M2011.25. Photo credit: John R. Glembin. © Jim Campbell
It’s not unusual to see the work of an engineer at an art museum–especially here in Milwaukee. From the first step under the stunning Brise Soleil in the Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, it becomes clear that an incredible mind must have devised this unique building. But what you may not know is that inside this engineering marvel, there is artwork by another artist with an engineering background: Jim Campbell’s Taxi Ride to Sarah’s Studio.

Categories
Art Education

Teen Voices in the Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum Satellite Program group, 2013-14
Milwaukee Art Museum Satellite Program group, 2013-14
Teen programs provide a very different kind of opportunity for museums to experiment with interpretation. Because many teens participate in multiple programs for extended lengths of time, they become advocates and resources for our museums and collections. Here at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I’ve been experimenting with interpretation strategies that go deeper than one-day-only programs, providing not only learning experiences for students involved, but powerful tools and content for the Museum, too.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Voting Counts: The Kohl’s Art Generation Lab

View of the voting stations in the Kohl's Art Generation Lab: Museum Inside Out. Photo by John R. Glembin
View of the voting stations in the Kohl’s Art Generation Lab: Museum Inside Out. Photo by John R. Glembin
The Kohl’s Art Generation Lab—part of the new Kohl’s Education Center, which opened February 25, 2012—is the Museum’s new “technology room” for kids and families. It features an exhibition entitled Museum Inside Out, which takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes tour of different departments at the Museum through high-tech interactives (and some low-tech ones, too). Kids and families can X-ray a painting, choose the frame for a work of art, and “Ask a Curator” their art-related questions. The Kohl’s Art Generation Lab is open during normal Museum hours through August 31, 2013.

One of the higher-tech attractions in the Lab is the Museum’s voting interactive. Five touch-screen monitors each randomly display two artworks side by side; the visitor is instructed to “tap to vote” for his or her favorite work between the two. Upon each selection, the information is collected, the results are tabulated, and two new works are displayed. A larger “leaderboard” screen above the touch-screens displays the current top 20 works in the contest, along with a list of recently selected works.

We started out not knowing how many votes to expect, and we were pretty surprised by the results.

Categories
Education

How We Made the Museum’s Teacher Website

Screenshot of the new Teacher Resources site.
Screenshot of the new Teacher Resources site.

Have you ever made a website? It’s not easy these days. Especially if you want it to be robust, web-standards-friendly, functional, and beautiful.

Luckily, the Museum has a fabulous web team in our Communications department that assists with all the various whims and wishes of the rest of the staff. These two busy staff members–that’s right, there’s only two of them!–work hard every day to make our website look great and work well.

At the end of the 2010-11 school year, I approached the team with an idea for an online hub for teachers–full of resources, activities, lesson plans, and information on the Collection specially for educators, with comments and media embedded in every activity. I’m thrilled to announce that last week, we launched the new Teacher Website–click here to visit!

For all you techies out there or folks who are simply intrigued by the many decisions that go into creating a site like this, read on…