Saturday, September 24, 2011

Educator Open House at the Field Museum

Thought I'd share this event that Joy, my Interpretations instructor sent us! Sounds pretty cool and it's free!

it is October 11 at 5-8 pm

Here's the link for more information ---> Free Educator Open House at the Field Museum

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Museum Interactive

Walking through the Art Institute Josh and I realized that there are hardly any digital interactives in the galleries. So we decided to create one super search through the museum to educate about the collections! Here is a write up of our interactive:

        Our digital interactive takes the form of a scavenger hunt throughout the whole of the museum and will adapt to new exhibitions depending on what the museum is showing. The idea to take on a museum-wide search is to get people to visit all the galleries and not just what the museum is most famous for, the large collection of Impressionist works. Many of the other galleries contain important and fascinating works, yet they are seldom visited or studied by the public. 
To start, we want to stress the idea of accessibility of the technology we use in our interactive search. We are aware that not everyone owns a smartphone to access the game on their device, so we want to include computer screens throughout the galleries so that everyone can participate. We also want to incorporate the idea of the interactive being a game or challenge, and the idea that one gains points throughout each challenge based on timing and answers. The visitor is actively competing with the other people in the museum, which gives them that competitive push to want to participate in the interactive. At the end of the game the visitor’s score is tallied up and placed in the rankings of all scores, so the idea is to get to the highest score ranking.
Our interactive would start off in the Modern Wing of the museum around the Education Center, and would start off with an easy question to initiate the challenge. An example of the question would be a compare and contrast, something that is not really seen in the art institute as it has such a strict encyclopedic layout. For example it would say find the image in the contemporary gallery that uses the same subject as this nineteenth century painting. From there they would find the painting and get a brief explanation and analysis of the painting and then get their next question. 
Other examples of challenges would be to show a puzzle piece taken out of a painting as well as a description of the style and technique used to create the painting, and then the visitor would have to find the artwork, find the art work that was inspired by the one in front of you, find similar subject matters within another gallery, find an image of a dog in a 16th century painting, count how many self-portraits are in a gallery, find a sculpture of a ballerina, Find a work in the Japanese collection that compares to something in the Impressionist gallery, etc. All the challenges would also give the visitor educational information about the works they find so that the visitor has a great learning experience.
The final challenge would be to put yourself into one of the paintings from the challenge, particularly the one that they find most interesting. The visitor would use the computer or smart phone to take a picture of themselves or their group and it would transform their photo into the style of the painting, and then go more in-depth about that work of art. The visitor can provide their email address and their creation will be sent to their inbox. After the visitors complete this challenge the game will tally the score and rank them among other players.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gallery show at the CAD

Just thought I'd share that the Chicago Art Department has a Gallery show opening this Friday, September 23, featuring the work of Riley Henderson and it is supposed to be pretty amazing. The Chicago Art Department is a really cool organization that you will learn more about when Nick and I give our presentation! The location is 1932 South Halsted.

Here is a link to the show details ---> Riley Henderson Show

Monday, September 12, 2011

Great advice from someone that's been there

I attended a party this weekend thrown by a second year MAAE student. This gave me an excellent opportunity to talk with and make connections with loads of second years (as well as other SAIC students not in the Art Ed department) and get their advice on beginning my journey at SAIC. Everyone I met has been so welcoming and nice which has made the beginning a very enjoyable experience so far. 

So I thought I would share the advice I was given this weekend:

One second year MAAE told me the most helpful thing to do at this stage is to journal or blog about your experiences. She noted that as dorky as it sounds it is really helpful in working through the thesis stage. Her advice was to journal about experiences, readings, lessons, lectures, exhibitions, or whatever strikes you as something important and worth noting. Going back at the second year stage and reading those entries allows you to discover a plethora of information in regards to your thesis. I guess you never know what may inspire you in your thesis a year from now. She also mentioned that looking back you'll probably start to see a pattern in the entries that you write, and this will give you insight into what theorists, educators, writers, or artists inspire you most. She even shaped her thesis around one of these people after catching that she continually went back to her writings. 

I guess it is time to get started on these entries!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A glimpse into my life and how I ended up in Chicago:

I never know how to start one of these in a way that is not totally awkward, so here goes!
Hello! I am Heather D'Andrea and a new MAAE student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago! I was born and raised in sunny South Florida. An odd fact about me is that even though I lived my first 18 years in a place that was considered freezing when it fell below 80 degrees I absolutely hate hot weather! I am not a fan of scorching hot summer days, but I am also not a huge fan of the freezing cold either so I guess I'm just picky. I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee at 18 to go to college at the University of Tennessee where I earned my bachelors degree. Upon moving to Tennessee I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I was one of those annoying students who ran to my advisor changing my major monthly for a while. I always wanted to pursue fashion design, but UT did not offer that as a program, so after switching from public relations to graphic design to advertising to communications to studio art to costume design to anthropology to journalism I met with an advisor who finally told me to design my own curriculum and take the classes I felt would help me with my goals. I did just that and started with Art History, and I absolutely fell in love and found something I never wanted to stop learning about. I was hooked from then on and knew art history was what I wanted to study and pursue. I ended up getting very interested in the depiction of outsiders in the history of art (special thanks to some awesome professors who pushed me and helped me find what I really enjoyed). I ended up writing my thesis on the depiction of prostitutes in 19th and 20th century art, specifically comparing the photographs of E. J. Bellocq to examples in painting from Manet to Picasso. I was very torn on what I wanted to do after graduating, I knew I wanted to stick with art history in some way, but I wasn't sure how. Then the summer before graduation I took a museum studies class, which opened me up to the wonderful world of museums and from that moment on I knew that art museum education was where I wanted to go. I started applying for grad school in museum education, art education, visual culture education, etc. and ended up choosing SAIC for grad school. I am super excited to be here and loving every minute of my new life in Chicago! 
Well that's enough rambling for now!