I Spy . . . Creative Problem Solving

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education on September 2nd, 2020

While the daily routines necessitated by Covid-19 mitigation are becoming second nature, “big picture” planning and long-term strategies for offering meaningful visitor experiences during a pandemic still prove challenging.

Take-and-make Art Kits and virtual programs/content offer ways to connect the Woodson Art Museum and our community, however, devising opportunities for intriguing onsite visitor engagement has required Museum staff to flex creative muscles in new ways.

This blog post previews one example of the inventive teamwork behind this fall’s visually focused Art Park installation, as the typical hands-on, interactive stations and art projects familiar to visitors aren’t possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

The diversity of Birds in Art artists’ mediums and studio tools inspired the Art Park team – curator of exhibitions Shannon Pueschner, curator of education Lisa Hoffman, facilities manager Dave Jones, and I – when we decided to focus more broadly on the process of art making.

The result, titled Makers’ Mediums, will feature a visual array of art tools and materials to inspire visitors’ future creations. The images below are close-up details from our upcoming Art Park installations, each highlighting a different art medium or material.

This fall, younger visitors will encounter “I Spy” prompts and clues for finding specific items on view and inviting comparisons between art materials familiar to them and those used by working artists. An installation of tried-and-true student art materials serves as a playful, color-filled display designed to spark creativity for families’ art making, using free Art Kits from the Museum or basic materials from at-home supplies. The images below are teasers for the upcoming kids’ art materials installation on view this fall.

Do you recognize the art supplies featured in these sets of images?

Art Park’s Makers’ Mediums will be complemented by a photography exhibition, From My Space to Yours, featuring Birds in Art artists’ studios accompanied by their thoughts about their creative work places. Studio photographs, which also will be viewable via the Museum’s website, provide connections through the lens of artist environments – large, small, or portable – for all kinds of art making. We hope visitors as well as artists will enjoy these varied and inspired spaces shared by our beloved and generous Birds in Art artists, who “host” us in their studios this year in lieu of their visits to our community.

Stay tuned to the Woodson Wanderings blog and the Museum’s social media channels for more ways to experience upcoming exhibitions and enjoy the stories behind artworks on view, whether in the galleries or remotely. 

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