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.
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.
How do art museums engage teenagers? We offer a number of internships at the Milwaukee Art Museum for teens, but for most students, their first (and sometimes only) exposure to the Museum is through a school field trip. In collaboration with our docent corps, we asked the students themselves how to engage teenagers in the galleries. If you’re curious about what teens said and how we’ve used their suggestions, read on!
How does one respond to a show like 30 Americans, which raises so many contemporary issues about identity, place and culture? How does this exhibition fit into a city that at first glance is all about motorcycles, baseball, and beer? Teens in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s ArtXpress program tackled these questions this summer.
The first time I saw the Milwaukee Art Museum I was in awe. The huge wings and the stark white building against the lake made the Museum seem like a weird foreign castle that I wanted to explore and get lost in. When I got inside, I was suddenly intimidated as I realized I couldn’t lay my grubby first grade fingers on anything! It was probably one of the biggest let downs in my first grade life I had ever encountered, but now, coming back as a senior in high school (and knowing about artwork conservation), I know it was for a good reason.
Four weeks ago I had no idea that I would be creating a post that would be viewed by anyone who accessed Milwaukee Art Museum Blog. When I first started the internship I was ecstatic: Working at the art museum? I was movin’ on up in life. Then when I found out I was going to create a blog post, you could pretty much say my day–if not year–was made.