ALBANY — While the Albany Museum of Art is closed to the public until further notice, the museum is working to find ways to reach adults and children during this period of social distancing.
AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem has created a daily blog titled “Staying Inspired!,” much of which will be based on the hands-on educational art projects the museum conducts in concert with exhibitions that are currently showing. Vanoteghem also will employ other resources and activities for the blogs.
“Our kids’ lives are being heavily impacted, and we want to give them something they can look forward to and to provide an outlet for whatever they may be feeling at this time,” Vanoteghem said. “Parents and kids will love these daily activities and resources that they can explore together.”
“Staying Inspired!” can be found on the AMA website at www.albanymuseum.com/kids-staying-inspired.html.
“In these unusual times, the art museum can continue to serve its community as a resource and respite,” AMA Executive Director Andrew James Wulf said. “The projects we share online shall not only give any and all an outlet for creative experiences, but serve as a reminder we all can be creative human beings under any circumstances.”
As people look for a “new normal,” the innovative use of the internet can help them connect to resources and activities while social distancing is in effect. The AMA conducts a robust schedule of events and activities throughout the year, and museum staff members are looking for ways to transform as much of that as possible to continue to reach and serve the public.
“I believe it is vitally important to keep our kids’ minds engaged and inspired to create, even if they have to stay home,” Vanoteghem said. “This can be a time for them to explore and learn through art and hands-on curriculum-based activities that can be done with materials you already have at your home.”
The first “Staying Inspired!” blogs incorporate the AMA exhibition “Cut & Paste: Works of Paper,” which features artwork by 11 Georgia artists. The focus of the first blog is on the piece “302 Years,” which depicts a cross section of a tree trunk. Youngsters learn about how the age of a tree is determined in this project as they create their own work of art. The second focuses on weather, including weather charts that are incorporated into artwork by Kalina Wińska, such as “Atmospheric Gaze No. 6.”
“Not all of the blogs will be connected to a current exhibition,” Vanoteghem said. “We’ll always be looking for ways to incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art math) education into the ‘Staying Inspired!’ blogs.”
She said the blogs will be posted on weekdays by 5 p.m.
“One of the goals of any art museum is for the visitor to carry what they see, feel and think out into the world and into their own lives,” Wulf said. “We’re turning this on its ear a bit. Now the museum has an opportunity to grow in a new direction, and what we offer can still enrich what many see as the most complex of the sensory domains, the visual.”
CURRENT AMA EXHIBITIONS
♦ “Cut & Paste: Works of Paper,” works by 11 Georgia artists, is in the Haley Gallery through June 27.
♦ “Looking at America and Painting How I Want, What I Want and How I See It,” works by Dean Mitchell, is in the East Gallery through March 28.
♦ “Do Not Hand Me Over to the Impure Whiteness of Noon: A Hemings Elegy,” works by Yanique Norman, is in the West Gallery through March 28.
The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive adjacent to Albany State University’s West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. AMA is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free.
For more information about the AMA, visit the www.albanymuseum.com website or call (229) 439-8400. Follow @AlbanyArtMuseum on Twitter, AlbanyMuseum on Instagram and AlbanyMuseumOfArt on Facebook.