Thanks to funding from the School of Arts and Letters, the Art Department was happy to welcome back Dr. Mike Murawski (BA – Art History and History, 2000), Director of Education and Public Programs at the Portland Art Museum, and Pacific Region Director for the Museum Division of the National Art Education Association. Dr. Murawski met with students and faculty and spoke to several classes, including the interdisciplinary Museum Studies class taught by Dr. Sara Orel.
He also led a program in the University Art Gallery. His interactive presentation, “Art Encounter: The New Education in Museums and Galleries,” gave the attendees several models of how to involve visitors to an art exhibition that did not start with an authority delivering a contextual lecture. These exercises were designed to draw out observations and responses from the viewers. Techniques included group-writing poetry and shaping (folding and tearing) paper in response to images, among other approaches.
During his visit, Dr. Murawski had a chance to speak about his path from Truman to American University for his graduate degrees. He returned to Missouri, where he worked as the head of education for the Saint Louis Art Museum. While there he was selected the Missouri Art Educator of the Year (Museum Education) for 2011. He is an innovator in the use of digital technology in Museum Education and has been involved with the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning initiative, the National Writing Project, the Educator Innovator initiative, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report 2013 Museum Edition, the Advisory Board for Art History Teaching Resources. We were very happy to have him visit and the students who interacted with him had a good opportunity to talk with a specialist in a field many are interested in pursuing. Thank you for the visit and talks, Mike!
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