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Community Connection

by Carrie Atkins Maras

1/21/2015

learning & interpretation , education , community outreach , Carrie Atkins Maras , art making

Our mission here at the Art Museum is to connect people with art. These connections come in all different ways, sometimes with carefully constructed curriculum based outcomes in mind, sometimes spontaneously in a gallery, sometimes online, and sometimes in the community.

These connections happening in the community are the big part of my work here at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Because work in the community is often happening outside the walls of the museum, it isn’t seen by visitors (or other museum staff, for that matter), so we like to share what we are up to every once in awhile, so here is an example of our work with one of our awesome community partners.  Each year we work with Faces Without Places to provide art based programming for their mentoring program. This program partners Xavier University students with grade school students experiencing homelessness.  Our series kicks off with them today, and I couldn’t be more excited for our work together.For our first meeting, we’ll be looking at a slew of different portraits, to define what a portrait is, to get a sense of how very different they can be and to introduce the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.  After talking, we will get to work making our own portraits, in pairs, so each student will do a portrait of his/her mentor and vice a versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These portraits will serve as a spring board to help the students and mentors get to know each other a little better and will also expose the students to media that they don’t typically get the opportunity to try (paint and canvas).  This will take at least 2-3 sessions of work to complete, and after the portrait projects are done, the group will join me at the Art Museum for a tour of the portraits we have studied, most of the time this is a student’s first exposure to an art museum, and it is a real joy to watch them as they see paintings they’ve been studying in reproductions for the first time. There tends to be a lot of pointing and smiling going on. Hope you’re smiling too, thinking of it!