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Friday Photos: Turn Your Classroom into an Exhibition!

March 28, 2014

Last month I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon touring the DMA with four Gifted/Talented students from Bland Elementary. In preparation for an exhibition they were planning at their school, they wanted to learn how museums design gallery spaces, considering decisions such a display, framing, labels, chronology, etc. Ms. Carissa Brophy, the Gifted/Talented teacher at Bland Elementary, recently answered a few questions about this project. We hope the success of her exhibition can inspire a similar project at your school!

How did you develop the idea for a student art exhibition? Is this something you have done in the past?

Ms. Brophy: Students discussed what areas of study we could look at for the year and decided that art was an area our small school could improve upon since we do not have an art teacher at our elementary… The group decided that we could take all of our individual works and create a mini-museum for our school to view. This was a new concept for us.

During the tour, what did your students learn about exhibition design?

Ms. Brophy: My students learned that the space around art can impact the experience of the viewers–small art may need an intimate or small space while large art can fill a large room and be a focal point. Frames can impact the experience of the patron… [and] must match the style so they do not overpower the art. The students [also] learned that you should label artworks to identify medium, type of display mat, artist’s name, year created… and labels should not interfere with the viewing [experience].

What do you think the students gained from visiting the museum? What information did they take away from the experience?

Ms. Brophy: They learned to look at art from different perspectives… They [also] gained knowledge of ways to display collections of art [and] appreciation for other’s art.

How was this new information translated into the exhibition design for your classroom?

Ms. Brophy: We viewed the space in our room with the desire to create flow for our patrons to enjoy all the student-created art, not just stand in one spot.

Are there any elements of the exhibition that you found more successful than others?

Ms. Brophy: Students loved the entire experience [and] parents said they loved the [classroom] museum. We had several comments on the digital tour the artists recorded for their display.

Do you have any suggestions for teachers who want to adapt this idea for their classroom?

Ms. Brophy: Have fun and let the students make it their own!

A huge thank you to Ms. Carissa Brophy and all of her students at Bland Elementary! And congratulations on your wonderful exhibition!

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

 

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