The Wellin Museum welcomes K–12 school groups to engage with our exhibitions and collections. K–12 school visits are designed to encourage creative engagement with art through close looking, imaginative activities, and dialogue. These visits support all areas of learning by helping students strengthen critical skills such as observing, describing, reasoning with evidence, questioning, connecting ideas, and listening to different points of view.
Docents at the Wellin Museum
As a teaching museum at Hamilton College, the Wellin Museum is a site of experiential learning. K–12 school visits are led by docents, or educational guides, in collaboration with museum staff. The Wellin's docents are Hamilton College students who have a wide range of academic backgrounds and an interest in teaching, museums, and art. They provide an engaging and personable experience for K–12 students and, in turn, they gain valuable teaching experience.
During fall 2023, K–12 school visits can be arranged Tuesday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from September 18 through December 8. Due to Hamilton College's holiday breaks, school visits are not available October 11–13 or November 20–24.
The Wellin Museum of Art would be delighted to organize a visit for your group. The museum can accommodate up to ninety-five students in one visit. Depending on the size of your group, it may be necessary to divide your students into smaller groups to accommodate everyone. Museum staff will design an itinerary that will ensure a positive learning environment for all students.
The Wellin Museum is free and open to everyone. Wellin Museum K–12 School Visits are free of charge.
Fall 2023 K–12 School Visit Topics
Live at the Wellin!
Suggested grade level: Elementary
Time frame: 2 hours
Program Description: Inspired by the exhibition Rhona Bitner: Resound, this program will provide an opportunity for students to explore the connections between theater, dance, and music by taking on the role of musicians, storytellers, and mask makers. Students will use Rhona Bitner's photographs of stages and theaters as an imaginative springboard to form their own bands and theater groups. They will work together to brainstorm, direct, and perform an original play and musical act, and will create their own musical instruments and theatrical masks.
Musical Places and Visual Sounds
Suggested grade level: Middle school
Time frame: 2 hours
Program Description: Students will explore the connections between music, place, and emotion through the exhibition Rhona Bitner: Resound. A musical scavenger hunt through the exhibition will lead them to uncover the associations between architectural environments and musical styles. They will deepen their understanding of how sound can evoke emotion by "drawing" songs and other sounds. Looking inward, they will design a CD cover for a playlist related to a location that is personally meaningful.
Students are invited to bring a smartphone as they will be used during the scavenger hunt, however, a phone is not required to participate.
Exploring Identity through Performance
Suggested grade level: High school
Time frame: 90 minutes
Program Description: In this program, students will immerse themselves in Rhona Bitner's photographs of stages, circuses, and music venues. Through group discussion and active investigation, students will consider the concept of performance as an everyday act in addition to something that happens on a stage. Students will explore the differences between the main stage and backstage as a jumping off point to reflect upon their own identities and create a multilayered self-portrait.