The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia is attracting attention in Washington, D.C., this summer for its free educational program Art Adventures.
The Association of Art Museum Directors and the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., are presenting "Museums: pARTners in Learning" through Aug. 29. The exhibition features student art and creative writing from AAMD member museums' educational programs offered in partnership with their local schools. This year, it focuses on programs organized by 16 college- and university-based art museums, including the Georgia Museum of Art, that underscore the breadth and range of art museum education today.
"Museums: pARTners in Learning" celebrates the remarkable diligence and creativity of thousands of K-12 students across the country and highlights the diverse ways in which direct engagement with the arts enriches students' learning experiences, personal development and critical thinking.
Art Adventures is a free, interactive program for elementary school-aged children held every June and July at the Georgia Museum of Art and targets day camps, day care centers and community centers. Approximately 400 children take part in Art Adventures each year; for many, this visit is their first to an art museum. The program encourages focused engagement with works of art and a studio art activity that builds on the children's experiences in the galleries.
In 2013, the year featured in the exhibition, the program's theme was "Museum Mysteries." Children went on an interactive tour of the permanent collection that encouraged them to work together as a group to play detective and solve clues about an art mystery while learning about the works on display. After the tour, groups created a collaborative work of art to hang in their classroom or community center. Each child in a group randomly selected "who," "what," "when" or "where" and made a fabric work of art answering the question based on the art they had just seen. They then combined their works into a wall hanging.
"Art Adventures is as much fun as it is instructive while inspiring creativity and learning," said William Underwood Eiland, Georgia Museum of Art director. "We are delighted that it is being recognized nationally and particularly pleased that our students' works will be displayed in Washington."
"Museums play a unique role in complementing our schools' educational resources and provide invaluable access to arts education for students across the country," said Chris Anagnos, executive director of AAMD. "Art is a powerful tool for encouraging new ways of thinking across disciplines. We are so pleased that the Georgia Museum of Art is participating in ‘Museums: pARTners in Learning' and is committed to fostering innovative educational programs to promote student learning, engagement and personal growth in the Athens, Georgia, area. We are proud to work with the Department of Education to showcase the many ways in which museum-school partnerships can make a broader impact on the quality of K-12 education in the United States."
AAMD's 242 members serve more than 40,000 public, private, charter and home schools a year, with programs ranging from single-visit tours to intensive, long-term partnerships that include shared teaching, curriculum design, assessment and professional development. Museums often pay for students' transportation, especially those in high-need schools, and offer professional development for teachers, programs for students with special needs and college preparedness for high school students. All AAMD museums place education at the core of their mission. Further information about AAMD is available at www.aamd.org.