Woodson Art Museum App Enhancing Exhibitions This Fall

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education on August 1st, 2012

How plugged in are you? Keeping pace with technology can be both challenging and exhilarating. Welcome to my world these past few months.
I’m proud to announce the launch of the Woodson Art Museum’s updated, tech-savvy, and user-friendly audio tour on easy-to-use iTouch devices that will be available for visitors’ in-gallery use. This fall, multi-media tours of two exhibitionsBirds in Art and Owen J. Gromme: An Enduring Legacy – will be offered through our very own Woodson Art Museum app.
Those who have used audio tours in our galleries know they can enhance visitors’ experiences through engaging and thought-provoking highlights of an exhibition. Soon, you’ll be able to watch video of Owen Gromme at work in his studio, while you stand in front of his original easel, immersing yourself fully in the artworks on view and the story of this acclaimed Wisconsin painter. Visitors also can listen to Birds in Art artists as they comment on their works and artistic processes.
Museums across the globe have embraced the touch screen, elevating the traditional app and revolutionizing the ways in which visitors connect to artworks, objects, and stories in galleries. I highly recommend exploring the world of museum apps; it will provide hours of entertainment and information.
Curator of Exhibitions Andy McGivern and I are working with high school student Alan Raff on the development and building of our audio tour app. Raff attends theWausau Engineering and Global Leadership Academy on the campus of Wausau East High School.This undertaking simply would not have been possible without the knowledge, enthusiasm, and patience (!) of Alan, who has helped me and Andy navigate the code-writing and editing required for app development. A big thanks goes to Alan for his hard work and dedication as our media and technology intern this summer.
The audio tour content is the result of the creative writing efforts of interpretive media consultants at Sandbox Studios, Minneapolis, and Woodson staff. Art interpretation for an audio tour can be a challenge in creative writing. Audio tour stops should offer listeners nuggets of tantalizing information and provide insights into the artwork before them. The material must be delivered in succinct, clear language that captures the imagination and keeps the listener engaged. No easy task. 
Many talents have been put to work on this project.
You also may be wondering who will be “the voice” describing artworks on view this fall. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Glen Moberg, of course! Moberg graciously agreed to lend his voice talent to the project ensuring a professional and thoughtful delivery of the content we’ve worked so hard to produce.
We hope to see you in the galleries and “plugged in” this fall, enjoying all the Woodson Art Museum has to offer.

P.S. Stay tuned to the Woodson Wanderings blog for a review of our studio time with Glen Moberg from Andy McGivern. We can’t wait to see the WPR studios and listen to Glen illuminate the Owen Gromme collection.

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