This winter, I’ve welcomed opportunities to work with visitors in the galleries, from Art Cluster students to a first-year class from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Central Wisconsin campus. No matter the group, I always enjoy conversing about art on view and learning what appeals to different audiences. I feel grateful that the Woodson Art Museum and Wausau School District were able to sustain a commitment to third-grade field trips, even though quarantines and limited resources for busing threatened to sideline this partnership.
Despite these potential obstacles, the Museum will welcome over 800 students this winter. This impressive total is the result of every third-grade student who attends a Wausau School District public school having the opportunity to visit during What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson for a docent-led gallery experience and hands-on art making, inspired by Robinson’s mixed-media collages.
Strolling the galleries with a group of third graders is a delight; students are eager to talk about what they see and Christian’s illustrations are both approachable and relatable for these classes. The subjects and characters depicted are filled with connections to the interests and experiences of young learners. Familiar settings and stories focus on school, family, and life events, depicted with accessible materials – construction paper, colored pencils, paint – found in any elementary school art room.