Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walters Art Museum



Museums have always been a place of excitement and tranquility for me. I became interested in making the museum my workplace when I recognized the abundance of job and internship opportunities at museums and galleries in Baltimore city. I researched internships for the Walters Art Museum by looking on their website, and sent my application in for a position in the education department. In my interview, I talked about my classes in Art Education at MICA, and the experiences I had with teaching through CAP and my Critical Response class. I was thrilled when they hired me as the intern for the School Programs division in the Walters’ Education department.
                  School Programs manages and organizes tours and studio activities for school groups that visit the museum. Everybody in School Programs has their own specific job, but each employee also teaches and guides tours for the programs. There is a variety of themes with the tours and activities, including Ancient Egypt, The Age of Exploration, Animals in Art, Telling Stories, Medieval Manuscripts, and countless others. A couple teachers do “outreaches” to schools, where they make a visit to the classroom, and introduce a theme with an activity. After, the class makes a field trip to the museum, and participates in a tour about that theme. Following the tour, they do an art activity about the theme that they learned about. School Programs offers a great learning experience for students, integrating the classroom, history, art, the museum, and hands-on creativity, giving them a well-rounded lesson about art.
                  My supervisor was Brittany Powell, one of the Senior Education Coordinators in School Programs. She organizes the tours, makes outreach visits, guides tours, teaches the studios, and writes lesson plans. I worked at a desk in the big office, which Brittany and 3 other School Programs employees also worked in.  Brittany assigned me two big projects to complete over the summer. I designed a new tour/studio program for the theme “Elements of Art and Design.” Secondly, I digitized and categorized the curriculum and education resources of the department, so that they are now easily accessed information.

 For the Elements of Art and Design workshop, I made a list of ten objects and wrote a discussion script for the one-hour tour. I also wrote the lesson plan for the one-hour art studio. It took many weeks of editing and reviewing with the coordinators Brittany and Rebecca. Receiving feedback from them was incredibly useful because they had experience with leading the tours and studios. When it was finalized, Brittany added it to the lessons database, and scheduled the workshop to be taught in January. This made me feel very proud and confident of my work, that they believed it was on par with the other workshops, and it would be used in the future.
Rebecca gave me information about the Studio Internship Position opening for the 2013-14 school year. I applied for this position because it would give me experience in teaching and giving tours for School Programs, and I would be able to continue working at the Walters, an environment that I love. I like the idea of bringing students to the museum and showing them a new world of art. Thus, I am very excited to continue working and learning in museum education, and look forward to my career heading in that direction.

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