Sunday, June 14, 2015

Curating With Postcards

I LOVE museums! And of course to me, shopping in the museum store is the best part. Okay, viewing the exhibits are VERY important and seriously meaningful. BUT, when you get to the store, you can always BUY something! Maybe a book or postcard about what you saw, which you can then share with your students, like I do.

I have lots of postcards. LOTS. Of. Postcards. The photo at the top includes only the ones I chose to use that day. In the past I have displayed them on bulletin boards in my art room. I also, have an art center in which I use the postcards.

However, last summer during a teacher institute I attended, we got to play with some postcards. We actually did an activity where we were grouped at tables with a stack of them. Our assignment was to sort through the stack, take turns laying out the postcards and arranging them. We were to assemble the postcards as if we were a curator putting an exhibit together. Oh yeah, AND we got to split up and KEEP the postcards afterwards! ( Lots of postcards, remember?)

So, picture this-my art room is just about ALL packed up, AND we have 3 more days of school.....
AND I have all these postcards, and since I put in a proposal to do some museum activities at my FAEA conference, why not try out this activity with my students? So I did! AND it was incredible fun.

 Above they are busy sorting through their piles.

 Here they are starting to arrange their exhibit.

 I spoke with my students about how they should decide on a theme for grouping them. They would need to tell me the theme and about the postcards they chose. They also needed to pick out a piece of colored construction paper to place the postcards on. After all, curators do consider and change out the wall color for an exhibit!

 They were also told that they could work individually or as a team. Afterwards, it was time to share out. Students grouped together and we moved from table to table to hear about each exhibit.

 Laminating to preserve paper items is a wonderful way to make them last longer. Unfortunately it does not make them very photogenic.

It was absolutely amazing the thoughtfulness my students put into arranging the postcards. They created and told stories, in the day or life of a person, as you viewed the art in their exhibit. AND the wall colors they chose, seriously, brought out the tiniest details in the art work. WOW! Just WOW!

And you know what? They actually enjoyed the activity!! Interestingly, it didn't take very long. So next time I plan to include the concept of negotiating with other curators to borrow from them for an exhibit. Maybe have students look up info about the art and decide on its value.  Or research the artist and write wall text. There are many ways to extend this lesson to include those Higher Order Thinking skills!

Tomorrow I leave for NY to spend some quality time with my sister*. We are planning to visit MANY of the wonderful museums in NY City where I can buy more........... POSTCARDS!!

 *I was originally planning to write, my sister, who I have not seen in over 3 years. However MY family gave my the most AMAZING surprise party last night for my birthday, which is in 2 months. YES, it's a BIG one! And on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most surprised- it was a 20! And she is here with me now! So we will fly up together! Truly feeling the love today!!

Thanks for reading!!!

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