Kids As Curators
Hagen Gallery
January 26 through March 18, 2018

Preteens love objects and intuitively understand how they reveal the owner’s personality and also reflect a bit of culture. Thanks to a generous federal grant the Museum is able to work intensively with three schools each year and  challenge students to design and curate exhibits that use their collections. In the summer teachers from the selected schools spend a week at the Museum working with its collection, and learning about how exhibits are designed, installed, and presented to public. In the fall an artist-in-residence is assigned to each partner school and, along with teachers, helps students amass, conceive, curate and construct their exhibits.

Rice Avenue Middle School in Girard hosted media artist Jude Shingle to work in the art and science classrooms. Eighth graders have created an exhibit that explores how important diversity is in organisms, fashion, and opinions. Wattsburg Area Middle School worked with sculptor Kathe Umlauf and drew inspiration from the study of Native Americans. Sixth graders chose animals that had personal meaning for them constructed enormous totem poles using found objects. The Rise Leadership Academy worked with environmental artist Annie Schmitt. Students in fifth through eighth grades demonstrate the power and flexibility of paper through a display of their own hand-made paper, recycling, poetry, and origami.

Kids as Curators offers a fresh perspective on material culture and is one of the Museum’s most popular family attractions. Middle schoolers value interactivity so it give visitors lots to do.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Erie Rise putting together their pieces for Kids as Curators