“The Art of Educational Outreach”
UMBC’s Fine Arts Gallery has drawn upon the experience and energy of one of its graduate assistants in the design and organization of its educational outreach initiative for the current exhibition, “Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations, 1979 – 2000.” Imaging and digital arts student Bea Bufrahi ’01, who also worked as an undergraduate intern in the gallery and recently completed another internship with Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum, brought together a rich and diverse offering of educational experiences focusing on museums and their recent collaborations with living artists.
Students from Middle River High School, City College, Catonsville High School and McDonogh School engaged in a dialogue with museum educators from the Walters Art Museum, the Contemporary Museum and the Maryland Historical Society, and explored how museums are rethinking their collections and how the public interprets them. Special attention was paid to the Fred Wilson’s historic 1993 collaboration with the Contemporary Museum and the Maryland Historical Society in creating the exhibition “Mining the Museum” presented at the Maryland Historical Society. Students had access to the current collaboration project between the Walters Art Museum and the Contemporary Museum which features the artist Dennis Adams, who is re-interpreting the Walters Art Museum’s permanent collection through the re-fabrication and re-installation of sculptural artifacts and site specific performance.
Multi-site visits to all three institutions, guided tours of the Fred Wilson exhibition at UMBC, as well as intensive workshops held at all four schools allowed students to engage in group critiques of their museum and gallery experiences and ultimately create their own artworks which actively address the issues of presentation and interpretation. The gallery will host a student exhibition of works created from this initiative in the Department of Visual Arts Hallway Gallery during the month of December.