Highly Hands-On

Family Programs at the High Museum of Art

What’s Your Job at the High? June 21, 2014

Filed under: General,What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 6:39 pm
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I am proud to introduce to you a V.I.P in our world of art education, Deirdra Alexander! She is on the front lines of our Toddler Thursday program and you can often find her working with various school programs and leading art-making workshops.  She’s an absolute whiz in the world of exploring funky and fun art projects as well as being super kind, insightful, and dedicated.

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Q: How long have you worked at the High?

My first day working at the museum was during the opening of the new Renzo Piano expansion in 2005. It was a crazy and fun day with art making activities in the workshops downstairs, outside in the piazza, and even on the sidewalk on Peachtree Street. There were people everywhere.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

For our Toddler Thursday program I first walk through the museum and find a work of art to inspire an art making activity. I pick out a few points of interest from the work for an adult visitor to share with their young toddler, encouraging them to look deeper.  I decide on a project using a variety of art mediums — paint, clay, stamping, collage, and even recycled objects. I then choose the book that will be read to the toddlers throughout the day. I also work with preschool, elementary, and middle school students who take a docent led tour through the museum and participate in an art making activity. I especially like working in the Afterschool Program which provides ten weeks of art enrichment learning for 3rd through 5th graders who attend designated Atlanta Public Schools.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

That I don’t even think of it as work. When I was in first grade, the teacher asked us to go home and think about what kind of job we would want to do all day long and every day… a daunting thought for a five year old. The only thing I could see never getting tired of was making collages. We had this great big tray of stuff the teacher would set before us and the possibilities seemed endless. So basically I do have my dream job!

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

My favorite work to talk with students about is Untitled, by David Adamo. It is a tiny red door in our Contemporary Galleries. Young children amaze me with their detailed observations and curiosity about how to get inside the door and what could possibly be on the other side… pizza, a princess, all the candy in the world, even a family of elephants may be hiding behind that small red door.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

I also teach art at a local preschool. When I am at home I try to make some time for my own painting and also enjoy being outdoors. Otherwise I spend a lot of time reading and try to see an occasional foreign or art film.

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What’s Your Job at the High? May 28, 2014

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 5:48 pm
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Have you ever visited the museum and witnessed hordes of happy school children milling about the building? Well, those kids are so happy because we have a ballin’ School Programs team that keeps them engaged, stimulated, and fed! There are a whole lot of components that go into making a school visit run smoothly and a very important piece of that puzzle is the lovely Ellen O’Brien, School Programs Assistant Extraordinaire.

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Q: How long have you worked at the High?

This month I celebrated my first full year working at The High!

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

I am the School Programs Assistant so I assist with the planning and implementation of programs and services for teachers and K-12th grade students.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

One of my favorite things about my job is watching students who visit the museum make connections to classroom lessons in new and exciting ways! I often see students surprise both themselves and their teachers with their creativity and insight. For me personally, art makes learning come alive so to see that happen for others is so fulfilling. I also especially love working with all of the Education Department who constantly inspire me with their resourcefulness and can-do attitudes!

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

It’s so hard to play favorites with all the wonderful art in our permanent collection! I do always find myself drawn to Anselm Kiefer’s painting Dragon (Drache). Before I worked at The High, anytime I would make a trip to Atlanta to see a new exhibition I would often try and make my way up to the skyway galleries to visit this monumental piece. I love to stand in front of this large painting and feel oh-so-small as I take in the rich textures Kiefer created with the choppy ocean waves and the dramatic night sky. This painting also includes a constellation depicting a mythological character that Keifer found being used throughout various cultures as a representation of evil within human nature, so fascinating!

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

Lately, I have loved being outside soaking up this warm spring weather at the park or on a friend’s porch. I also like creating art or crafts of my own, enjoying good food with friends, and finding great live music to enjoy!

 

What’s your job at the High? October 17, 2012

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 5:30 pm

Hello families,

We are busy planning the coolest and most interesting programs for all of you to enjoy in connection with our latest exhibition Fast Forward: Modern Moments. This is the second major installation of work from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In order to make all of these programs happen, we all work together as a programming team. On that team, we have a new player!  Our new Family Programs Assistant named Brantly Hancock. You will see her around the classrooms, family learning gallery, etc. but in the meantime, here’s a little bit more about what she’ll be doing here:

 

Q: How long have you worked at the High?

A: Well, it’s been about three weeks now, believe it or not. Or is it a month? I don’t even know! Time has certainly flown by, that’s for sure.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

A: I’m the Family Programs Assistant. I’m actually working in the education department for two different awesome supervisors, Erin Dougherty, Public Programs Extraordinaire, and Nicole Cromartie, the super chic Coordinator of Museum Interpretation here at the High. As such, my days are busy, busy, busy—but “Busy B” was one of many nicknames I had growing up, so I don’t mind at all. Variety is the spice of life, right? I get to do so many fun things:  work with Toddlers and Teaching Artists, brainstorm lessons and create project examples, research artwork, and provide upkeep for the Family Learning Gallery and permanent collection learning vignettes. The list really does go on, and I like it like that!

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: Well, I think I answered a lot of that above, which shows that I obviously did not read the question below first. Anyway, I digress. I love the people, the artwork, but most of all it’s the satisfaction I get every day after work when I realize, “You’re doing this, Brantly. You’re doing something with your Art History degree. You are one incredibly lucky lady.” And I am.

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

A: As yet, I think I’m still too unfamiliar with all of the pieces to make a definitive answer, but there are several that have caught my eye. Surprisingly, Adolph Gottlieb’s Duet is one of my favorites, along with these two awesomely grotesque sculptures, Witch from Macbeth and Mephistopholes by Jacques-Louis Gautier. There are so many other great pieces, from both the decorative and fine arts collections, that speak to me that I can’t help but sound wishy-washy!

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

A:  My fiancé and I are both avid cooks, and I love to bake, so I try to supplement my first two loves (Kent and food) by running and winding down doing yoga. I love to be outside, either by myself or with friends and family during these awesomely cool fall days. Whether I’m watching a football game or soccer match, going on a walk, or trying to learn something new like knitting or sewing, I am good to go!

 

 

 

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for Brantly if you visit us for Toddler Thursday, Second Sunday Funday, or any of our other Family Programming. She may just appear in the Family Learning Gallery to pick up your toys and play with your blocks!

 

What’s your job at the High? May 24, 2012

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 10:19 am

It’s time to introduce you to yet another fabulous High Museum of Art staff member. Today we’re talking to Coordinator of School Tours, Alyssa Ashdown. If you have ever come to the Museum on a field trip or with a large group, Alyssa was a big part of making that happen. She greets tour groups, schedules them, and makes sure that they have a great experience. Read on to learn more:

Q: How long have you worked at the High?

A: I have worked at the Museum for about a year and a half now.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

A: I am the School Tours Coordinator for the museum.  I meet, greet, and schedule the school groups that come to visit the museum.  I also work with the awesome summer camps that visit during the scorching Atlanta summer!

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I really like the team that I work with, we really make things fun and enjoyable.  Of course the art work and I enjoy the opportunity to help teachers bring interested students to the museum.

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

A: My favorite piece in the permanent collection that we have is the Chuck Close, Self Portrait that we have in our contemporary collection.  His large scale pieces and work that he does is astonishing.  He has overcome a lot of pain to continue to do what he loves.  It is very inspiring.  Another favorite piece of mine is the Eames chair that we have in our decorative arts and design collection.  After learning about their life and passion for comfort, I have always admired their furniture.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

A:  If I am not running or playing volleyball, I am usually photographing around Atlanta, cooking out with friends or chilling at home with my cat.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for Alyssa if you visit us this summer with your camp group or class!

Later,

Erin

 

What’s your job at the High? May 26, 2011

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 1:25 pm

Did you know that the High Museum is starting a new Teen Program? It’s happening, and the person who’s coordinating it all is Beth Malone. She’s the newest addition to the High Museum’s Public Programs team and we are happy to have her smiling face around the office. To learn more about the Teen Program, stay tuned to our website. Today you’re getting a sneak peak into the creative and brilliant mind of Beth:

Q: How long have you worked at the High?

A: Almost four months now. Wow, it has gone very fast.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

A: I’m the Coordinator of Teen Programs. There aren’t actual teens here yet, but I’m coordinating it so there will be. The Teen Program is brand new – we want teens to feel at home here and engage with the art in hip, innovative ways that go beyond traditional museum visits. We’ve developed a Teen Team, an advisory council of 15 area teenagers who will learn all about the High and help develop teen-only events here. We’ll start offering studio workshops called ArtLABs on things like fashion design, photography, animation, and painting. And we’re going to host two major teen nights each year, the first one is August 27 – there will be food, dancing, music, and art-making.  

I also get to plan College Nights at the Museum and help with other cool stuff happening in the education department. I think I have the best job at the High but try to keep it a secret.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: The ART. The people whose company I share. The excitement of exhibitions to come. Daydreaming about the big events we get to plan and watching those events take shape. Listening to the teens’ impression of artwork, watching their eyes light up. I remember how alive I felt as a teen when I first started learning about art and music – I see that in them and it resonates deeply with me. I’m so excited for all of them, they’re at the beginning of such great discovery.

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

A: Jeff Wall’s Night. I haven’t always cared for photography– I’m more of a conceptual installation kinda gal, but this image shocks me like walking into an all-encompassing installation. I feel the stickiness and humidity of that night. I have to struggle to see it, physically engage by focusing and refocusing my eyes, moving closer and then further away. I wonder about the people in the photo, but more than that I feel so moved by the darkness of it – the unknown.   

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

A: I do a lot of work within the local arts community so I like to attend events – gallery openings, lectures, plays. I also like to write fiction, make films, and play outside.

 

What’s your job at the High? February 25, 2011

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 10:30 am

Do you ever wonder who hangs the art on the walls here at the High Museum? Well it’s your lucky day! Today we’re talking to Justin McNeight one of our Preparators. Read on to learn more about what he does:

Q: How long have you worked at the High?

A: I have worked at the High for almost 8 years.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

A: Preparator.  We’re responsible for the installation/deinstallation and maintenance of the galleries.  Hanging the works, lighting, etc.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I like the people I work with. I also enjoy using a drill.  A Dewalt preferably. 14 volt, if you please.

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

A: April Gornik’s Storm Passing

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

A: When I’m not at the museum I play music, hang out with my wife, work in a recording studio, ride my bike, feed the dogs, and dig on chips and salsa.

 

What’s your job at the High? December 17, 2010

Filed under: What's your job at the High? — erinkdougherty @ 1:30 pm

Today we’re talking to Earl Adams a wonderful and enthusiastic member and guest representative here at the High. When you come to the Museum, Earl might be one of the first people you see. Be sure to say hello next time you come to the High.

Q: How long have you worked at the High?

A: 1 year.

Q: What is it that you do at the Museum?

A: I am a member and guest representative and I also steward special events held here at the museum.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I definitely enjoy interacting with my co-workers, I work with a great group of people who keep the job exciting. I enjoy special events because it’s like working behind the scenes of a huge party every time and you see all of the work and energy put into making them spectacular. On busy Museum days such as Target Family Day, Friday Night Jazz, and Fulton County days working in membership can be very exciting, the fast pace and all the activity going on.

Q: What is your favorite work of art in the permanent collection and why?

A: The Kehinde Wiley “Thiogo Gliveira do Rosario Rozendo” from the series The World Stage Brazil in 2009. I am fond of this piece because when I visit museums people of color are not clearly represented. When I see this piece I see myself. I’m also a big fan of his work.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working at the Museum?

A: I founded We Care Academy which is a nonprofit organization created to help students with their academics, mentorships, and family assistance programs. Working at the High Museum and for We Care keeps me pretty busy. I like working it gives me something to do and keeps me active.