The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky works hand in hand with local and regional educators four or five times each year to provide instruction and inspiration for these valued partners. MUSE events (Museums in Service to Educators) take place after school or on the weekend, presenting a rich variety of activities, tours and talks, presentations and demonstrations and opportunity to network with colleagues from around the state. The program has developed over the past ten years, and draws an ever growing audience of teachers from pre-school to university level. Educators are tasked with more and more goals; this program is planned to teach content, model teaching art across the curriculum and provide support and appreciation for the artist in all of us.
On March 15, 32 educators gathered at the Art Museum to learn about the History of Images, Images of History. Taking inspiration from our exhibition Wide Angle: American Photographs from the Collection, the day included an in-depth tour of the museum, and a presentation by UK art faculty member Rob Dickes, who presented Photography in the Twenty-First Century, introducing a number of engaging, doable projects for the classroom. In the afternoon, Dr. DaMaris B. Hill, another UK faculty member spoke about the use of image and archival photographs to inspire new and old stories. Throughout the day, lively conversation sparked new ideas and encouraged discussion about art, teaching, life and young learners.
MUSE events are organized by Sonja Brooks, the Museum’s Outreach Coordinator. Lively, engaging yet filled with rich content and inspiring ideas, they are the museum’s effort to support and thank our region’s art teachers. Budgets, deadlines, testing and this year snow, all place demands on the education system. Not easily quantifiable, not proven to be linked to financial success, arts education-all the arts-can be rendered less important in contrast to the markers which indicate mastery. The arts are a measure of how we dream and create, they define our past and envision our future. The Museum is honored to play a role in keeping them alive in our classrooms and our student’s minds and hearts.
Deborah Borrowdale-Cox, Museum Director of Education
image: CARRIE MAE WEEMS, Mayflowers, from May Days Long Forgotten series, chromogenic print. Purchase: the Robert C. May Photography Fund.