Thursday, June 21, 2012
Later today I'll be on a train headed toward my city. I'll deboard at 30th Street and walk the hot mile or so to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where I'll be meeting with Barbara Bassett, who invited me to teach in this year's VAST: Nature Through Lens of Art/Science program being offered to area teachers. We'll be reviewing the collections. I'll be hunting for source inspirations.
It is an honor to be included in this program, described in full here. I excerpt these lines from the online description:
Each summer the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Education department offers K–12 teachers of all subject areas the chance to immerse themselves in the Museum’s collections and explore the special nature of art and its use as a classroom resource.
The natural world serves as a source of inspiration for artists and scientists, fostering inquiry and enlivening the imagination. This one-week seminar explores nature through the lens of art and science and discovers the intersections between the two disciplines. Lectures by curators and invited scholars and gallery sessions with Museum Educators enable the examination of a range of art from different times and places, including seventeenth-century Dutch still lifes, Japanese scrolls, Hudson River School paintings, and twentieth-century environmental works of art. Special visits to area institutions the Barnes Foundation and the Academy of Natural Sciences further supplement this seminar’s coursework.
Through lectures, small-group gallery discussions, writing, and hands-on art workshops, participants will engage in approaches and activities that can be used both in the Museum and in the classroom to promote looking, thinking, and writing. Sessions will be led by Museum Educators, guest speakers, and artists. Teachers will be grouped into elementary, middle school, and high school work teams to facilitate meaningful discussion and brainstorming of curricular connections. All VAST participants will receive a resource guide with background information of artworks, discussion questions, and writing connections to bring back to the classroom.