Spring 2021 Highlights

In Spring we welcomed new team member Grace Kriger as communications assistant and increased the role of our graduate students Kiana Ziegler and Amina Kassim, who volunteered their time in the Fall. We all hit the ground running with a renewed sense of “we’ve got this!” and project management flowed smoothly as we shifted duties to fit more easily into a working pattern that allowed a team of 11 to effectively collaborate virtually.

In January we took our first steps into hosting virtual school field trips with Solid Ground School, successfully adding both pre-visit materials and post-visit art making activities to synchronous gallery meetings with each class.

KMA physically reopened by appointment in February with the launch of an exhibition honoring the legacy of graphic design faculty Don Adleta and Karen Nulf. Staff and student staff also began a hybrid mode of working that has generated confidence in being able to “meet the moment” as that moment continues to evolve.

Legacy: Don Adleta and Karen Nulf, 60 Years of Graphic Design Feb. 1 – March 28, 2021

This semester Kelly Hanning took over management of the online Family Art & Science Encounters, coordinating five online activities that were added to the five produced in the fall. Marissa Stewart implemented her Roundtable Discussions project, providing a safe space for conversations around the KMA virtual table on pressing contemporary issues.

Sarah Weekman launched a new Wellness Wednesday social media initiative and left us with a legacy of new ways to think about connecting KMA collections to concepts of health and wellbeing.

First Wellness Wednesday Instagram post in February.

We redesigned our Museum Experiences Blog to feature the continuation of Alumni Spotlights in the CONNECTIONS area and created new spaces for Roundtable Recaps and a new student curatorial project, KMA Picks.

Madeline Kramer and Tristen Luken collaborated on the very first KMA Picks, showcasing connections within KMA collections that transcend our individual viewpoints and discipline areas. They created engagement that is meaningful on both an individual and institutional level. In May they teamed up again to help facilitate virtual field trips with K-12 students. KMA volunteers Jen Cantu and Mary Moffatt completed our team as we “toured” students through the Pattern & Disruption: Diné Lifeways and Embedded Mathematics exhibition, behind-the-scenes in the weaving collection vault, and into the studio for craft instructions. With the assistance of Akira Jakkson (KMA PACE student Photographic Specialist) we generated both synchronous and asynchronous material for 6th-12th grade virtual experiences focusing on “Working in a Museum” and featuring this year’s Museum Studies class and exhibition.

Jen and Mary explain their work with the weaving collection as part of K-12 virtual field trips.

Carrie Summerford collaborated with Sarah on adapting the history of The Ridges physical KMA display into an online resource and guided tour experience aimed at Spanish language learners. She promoted the use of remote teaching resources and began work on the second KMA Picks project, to be featured next semester.

Grace Kriger has added a level of content creation for social media that is grounded in the museum’s collections and online exhibitions. Her thoughtful postings and new initiatives such as Art Challenges reflect a creative engagement that is fresh and new.

Our First Art Challange Instagram post in April.

Basil Masri Zada served as education and technology consultant this year and continues to provide guidance in the areas of communications, technology and social media engagement.

Lisa Quinn continued to masterfully fulfill an educational role in the facilitation of Visual Thinking Strategies sessions, adding meaningful content to the conversation by expanding the diversity of artists represented in these programs. This past semester virtual visual literacy workshops included works by Titus Kaphar, Wendy Red Star, Kerry James Marshall and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.

We wrap up this Spring Semester with the opportunity to review our operations over the last ten years as we apply for reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. A lot has happened in that time and, as we move toward a new and reconsidered vision of what it means to be an academic art museum in our current world, we are pleased to be considering that role within an expanded vision of museum work with the OHIO Museum Complex.

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