Experimenting with Curriculum; Engaging with the Wellin
This story is adapted from the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art's monthly blog entry written in October by Curatorial and Programming Coordinator Michelle Reynolds.
The Wellin Museum has been busy welcoming college-level courses to its fall exhibition, Jeffrey Gibson: This Is the Day. This semester, the museum will host nearly 40 class sessions from 18 different courses that have incorporated Gibson’s work into their curriculum. Listed below is a sampling of participating courses and the projects in which they are engaged:
- Inspired by Gibson’s sculptural works, a studio art course will create works that reflect upon the language of materials and how the understanding of a piece is related to its materiality, form, and context.
- A communications course is using the works on view to practice vocabulary, conversation, and presentation in a unique setting outside the walls of the classroom.
- Courses in French and German are using the Wellin’s installation of Gibson’s work to explore notions of identity and how this relates to the history of France and Germany.
- A literature course is integrating themes from the exhibition into course discussions and final projects focused on repetition as it applies to issues such as authenticity, originality, and translation.
- Two religious studies courses are exploring how indigenous artists and institutions present, explore, and demonstrate the meaning of indigenous identity.
- A theatre course is exploring Gibson’s use of the clown motif as it relates to their readings on the role of the fool in performance.
Current Exhibition: Jeffrey Gibson: This Is the Day
Hours: Tues.-Sun.: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
As a teaching museum, the Wellin presents exhibitions that are interdisciplinary, fitting into the liberal arts curriculum. Since its opening almost six years ago, the museum staff has worked closely each semester with faculty to generate projects that interact with exhibitions in a meaningful way.
To encourage this level of engagement, the museum facilitates an extensive outreach program that includes person-to-person meetings and programming designed for faculty, including information sessions about the museum’s collection, tours of current exhibitions, and round-table discussions with curators and artists. The museum recognizes the amount of work necessary to explore different subjects as well as to generate new assignments, so the Wellin staff has made it its goal to make teaching in the museum as approachable an endeavor as possible.