For the past three years, Assistant Professor Amanda Alexander (Art & Art History) has been taking her art education students to the Kimbell Art Museum for what she calls the “four-part series.”
Students visit the Fort Worth museum four times each spring. In the first three sessions, Kimbell employees — Connie Barganier education manager, and Marilyn Ivy, studio and family programs coordinator — teach Alexander’s class about the strategies of teaching on the art that resides in the museum. The students, in separate groups, create a curriculum about a specific piece displayed at the museum.
In the final session, UT Arlington students teach two dozen students from Kirkpatrick Middle School in Fort Worth. After the lesson, the middle schoolers are given supplies to create their own work of art.
Art education senior Alexia Austin taught a group of middle school students about one of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s sculptures, Portrait of Charles Carpeaux, his brother. The students were receptive to what they were teaching them, she said, they loved the art project to accompany the lesson.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux depicted his brother, Charles, a violinist, strumming a violin, the object that defined him.
“The sculpture became especially meaningful to the artist when his brother died shortly after the sculpture was completed,” Austin said. “My teaching group asked our students to emulate Carpeaux’s artwork by creating their own sculptures, which held personal meaning. We gave each student a lump of clay and asked them to think about someone they love and to consider an object that best personified that individual. The students were then instructed to create that object out of their lump of clay, and the results were fantastic!”
Alexander began a similar program in Pennsylvania before she joined the UT Arlington faculty. Once here, she discussed the program with several Metroplex museums, and Kimbell embraced the idea, she said.
“The reason the education manager at Kimbell wanted to do it is because we all see it as a win-win for everyone,” Alexander said. “It is going to benefit my students and make the education program more known. On their side of it, if they get college kids or younger students in the door, [those students] will come back.
(Story by Elissa Ammon/COLA Communications)