Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Innovative Educational Programs at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

Yesterday morning we had a taste of Donna Merkt’s innovative educational programming using the paintings from the Hudson River School in the permanent collection of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art to not only teach the children about art but also science, ecology and creative thinking. The children and adults were broken up into three groups. Donna used packets with pictures of animals from the Hudson River School and the students used drama to enact their trials in surviving a rapidly changing environment along the Hudson River where population is surging. Brother Isidore took another group through the galleries and talked about the Hudson River School of painting while a third group went outside to do an art project based on what they had learned and their impressions of it. This is only one of the many innovative teaching projects that Donna has created around this broad-based collection that Oklahoma is so fortunate to have at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum. They have scholarships for school groups that can not afford to make the trip and by linking art with many other teaching priorities for the schools attendance has increased four-fold. The excitement especially among the children was palpable and infectious.

Brother Isidore talks to the students about the collection....

At work on an art project connected to the educational program...

Bob shoots the students and their work.....

1 comment:

  1. As an educator who often works with museums and arts venues, I was happy to read of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum's willingness to engage students on multiple levels. While art history and creative writing pair well -- and easily, adding the third element of ecology into the mix must make for some very intriguing student writings.

    Lauren Camp