Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Internship Week Four

Last week I posed the idea to my boss, let's start calling her M, that we should leave the magnet board in the family room and use the space for kids to create their own hybrid animals. My boss LOVED the idea and today my project was to choose the animals for the magnets. I love the trust that the staff has with the interns but it also makes me worried that the outcome won't be exactly what M wanted. However, I believe that having this freedom makes me only work harder and also gives me a sense of independence so that I will be ready to start my career after getting my Master's.

I chose these beautiful illustrated animals from a clip art book. The animals had to relate to the new Steve Jenkins exhibit (see older posts) but also had to connect with animal pieces in the African and Indian collections. All in all, I found about 10 pieces that I thought would make fun magnets. After some frustration with the enlarger on the copier, I printed out the animals and cute them in half or in thirds. I had a great time afterwards making my own "new" animal by putting different pieces together. Can't wait to show M tomorrow!

Lastly, M is meeting with the Director tomorrow to talk about re-installing the touch gallery. This is something I REALLY want to be involved in because I want to write my thesis on disability services in museums. We'll see if I'll get a change to be a part of the gallery...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

Just watched an amazing documentary on the notable photographer Bill Cunningham. A great film for anyone who loves the art of fashion, or if you enjoy learning about interesting characters. Check it out! Now available on Netflix.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Internship Week 3

My internship is going really well. I've been brave enough to make suggestions and even better, my boss actually uses my suggestions! For example, today we visually put together a model of the Steve Jenkins show that's coming up in November. Since there were too many pieces, I picked five that we could possibly put in the family room instead of the gallery. I also suggested that we keep the magnet wall in the room and change the magnets to animals that you can put together to make your own species.

My boss thought it was a great idea and we are now implementing it for the upcoming show! I've realized with this internship that it is what you make of it. I might now be able to create a final thesis project this semester, but I can create sub-projects that will help me develop research for me thesis.

Feeling good about where this semester is taking me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ways of Seeing

Just read a great book for my Social Theory class: Ways of Seeing by John Berger. Read it! Also if you're new to town, I just found an awesome Lakeview bookstore. I love this place...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Internship Struggles

After my second day at my internship, I'm struggling to find out what project I can create in the next four months. You see, every intern is supposed to come up with some big proposal/project/event that has to do with their interests. Sure I have interests... I pretty much know already what I want to do with my thesis. But learning how to take my interest and make it into a project by December is quite overwhelming.

While I do not know the exact format or subject of my thesis yet, I do know I want to research art museum education departments and the disability services they offer. Specifically, I want to create a program or a curriculum for children with Autism. To take this broad idea, and make it into something organized by the end of the semester seems impossible. As a second year suggested, perhaps I should simply make a document (a curriculum) that the museum could later use as a model. This sounds like an achievable fete. But... will anyone really ever use it or will I feel let down that I didn't reach my full potential in my time at the museum?

After some deep breaths I realized something, I have a whole two years to conduct research and do more fieldwork for my thesis. I think this semester can be more of a learning semester. Learning how the education department works, learning what programs they already have in place, and perhaps even running a family program one Saturday. I think learning as much as I can about how an education department works at a large museum is the first step to figuring out how I can help them accommodate visitors with disabilities in a more effective manner.

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks my goal for this internship will become more clear. My boss did mention that since I am in Cyberpedagogy, perhaps I could create a website that displays ARTIC visitor's artwork. Perhaps... I think I'm a couple of classes away from mastering :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Steve Jenkins at the Ryan Education Center

In November, illustrator and author Steve Jenkins will be coming to the gallery in the Ryan Education Center. I'm lucky enough to get to help curate and install the show. Jenkins makes beautiful animals out of cut-paper and writes interesting facts about the creatures. Check out his website if you want to learn more!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day at the Art Institute

I have a FABULOUS internship this semester as a programs assistant in the education department. Mainly I'm working with Interpretive Exhibits and Family Programs. I had no idea what to expect since I've only ever worked in a small museum where the education department has no more than three people.

The first thing I did was tag along with an SAIC MAT group that was taking a tour of the teacher resource center. I had no idea you can not only create your own collections online, but you can find any resource they have in the library on their website. All you have to do is come to the teacher resource center once, register, and then you can use it from anywhere! The collection consist of lesson plans, books from the museum, and art dvds. More info is on under the education > teacher section.

I then did A LOT of research on the illustrator and author being featured in the upcoming Ryan Education Center exhibit. His name is Steven Jenkins and he creates these beautiful animals by cutting unique paper from all around the world and putting it together to make life-like but lyrical animals. In his books, he reveals interesting facts about animals: did you know the giant squid is the longest sea or land creature in the world?? My boss, Mary, told me I'd be helping her matte, frame, and hang the show as well as write the lease agreement. So exciting!

Lastly for the day, I got to take a tour of all the offices including the vault... dumm duum duummm. The entire place is like an underground village with different passages and heavy security. I felt incredibly special walking through that space.

I work again tomorrow and I'm looking forward to my next assignment. PROGRAMS ASSISTANT REPORTING FOR DUTY.

Till next time,