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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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Behind the Scenes Education

Teens on Museums, Relevancy, and Community–Part 3

A view of the final celebration in progress. Photo by Front Room Photography
A view of the final celebration in progress. Photo by Front Room Photography
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 3 of 4, showcases the work of these students in their own words.

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Behind the Scenes Education

Teens on Museums, Relevancy, and Community–Part 1

The Satellite High School Program interns,  Fall 2014. Photo by Front Room Photography
The Satellite High School Program interns, Fall 2014. Photo by Front Room Photography
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.

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Behind the Scenes Education

Reflections of an Intern: Teens at the Museum

Jonathan, Jen, and Nhyji consider a painting in Of Heaven and Earth. Photo by Chelsea Emelie Kelly
Jonathan, Jen, and Nhyji consider a painting in Of Heaven and Earth. Photo by Chelsea Emelie Kelly
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.

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Art Behind the Scenes Education

Teens Discuss Postcards from America

Donovan Wylie (British, b. Northern Ireland, 1971). The Preparatory City. Marquette Interchange, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014. Inkjet print, 60 × 80 in. (152.4 × 203.2 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund, M2014.36.
Donovan Wylie (British, b. Northern Ireland, 1971). The Preparatory City. Marquette Interchange, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014. Inkjet print, 60 × 80 in. (152.4 × 203.2 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, purchase, Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund, M2014.36.
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.

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Behind the Scenes Education

Reflective Evaluation: How Can Museums Change Teens–and Vice Versa? Part 3

The Satellite High School Program Teens, 2013-14. Photo by Front Room Photography
The Satellite High School Program Teens, 2013-14. Photo by Front Room Photography
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?

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Behind the Scenes Education

Reflective Evaluation: How Can Museums Change Teens–and Vice Versa? Part 2

Liz and Justine watch the final project videos. Photo by Front Room Photography
Liz and Justine watch the final project videos. Photo by Front Room Photography
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.

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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.

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Behind the Scenes Education

ArtXpress Teen Program: ONE-MKE

Group shot of the ArtXpress teens with their mural! Photo by Front Room Photography
Group shot of the ArtXpress teens with their mural! Photo by Front Room Photography
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.

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Behind the Scenes Education

Intern Voice: My Experience as a Milwaukee Art Museum Intern

Students doing an activity in Windhover Hall. Screenshot of the teens' final project video.
Students doing an activity in Windhover Hall. Screenshot of the teens’ final project video.
As the weather slowly became warmer and final assignments had come and gone, the summer of 2013 slyly crept upon me and I still had no idea as to what I would spend my time doing. So many of my friends already had plans for their summer, but I hadn’t found something as beneficial to my field of study: education. Right when I began to settle for a typical mall job, the gates of heaven opened and the stars aligned when I was told about an internship at the Milwaukee Art Museum! I eagerly dropped all other applications and began updating my résumé because I knew that this internship had to be mine! Thus, after a few weeks of emails and a meeting with my future boss, the amazing Chelsea Kelly, I was offered the job as the Teaching Assistant Intern! Yes, the title is a mouthful, but my experience as an Intern was amazing, and I think it beats applying makeup at some mall any day (no offense to those awesome cosmetologists out there).