Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taking the Show on the Road

In spite of the galleries being closed, the Addison’s education team has been busy as ever with preK-12 classes from Phillips Academy, Andover, Lawrence and even as far as Exeter and Everett. Whether in the Museum Learning Center or on the road, we continue to use the extraordinary resources of the Addison to foster and support creative teaching practices while complementing and connecting various academic subjects.

In the Museum Learning Center

Using works from the permanent collection, Phillips Academy history, English, art, and theater classes have explored everything from the Civil Rights Movement, to the history of photography, to ships and pirates. The Andover Youth Services Girls Leadership group explored gender identity while Exeter, NH High School investigated class identity during their visits to the MLC. The wall drawings of Sol LeWitt were the inspiration for a teacher workshop that demonstrated how process documentation can further both teacher and student learning. And, teachers from as far as Beijing participated in the “Museums as Center of Integrative Learning” session at PA’s Global Education Conference.

In the Community

Artist Wendy Ewald continues to be an inspiration to us as we take photography and writing projects into schools and communities. Second and fourth grade classes at the Frost School in Lawrence have been working on “Best Part of Me” projects featuring self-made photographs of their favorite body parts with accompanying poetry and prose that celebrate their bodies and minds. “Who I Am/What I Do” was our theme at the Andover Bread Loaf Writing Conference at Lawrence Community Works/Movement City on Saturday. As the high school participants made photographs that reflected both their identities and actions, we also brainstormed about public places where we might display mural-size enlargements of the images.

Sheila Hicks is another artist who continues to be an inspiration, even though her exhibition has since traveled to the ICA in Philadelphia . A weaving studio has been set up in the waiting area at Essex Art Center, so parents and their children can weave together on a community loom. Two classrooms which have caught the weaving bug are coming together in June to share their weaving projects, join forces in a collaborative artwork, and create an exhibit for parents and community members. Look for more information and an invitation to see weavings from The Children’s Place in Andover and the Oliver School in Lawrence – and perhaps contribute to collaborative projects in public places!

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