SFMOMA and CAST Academy: Responsive Arts Education Planning Projects

SFMOMA has currently closed its doors as the museum undergoes a tremendous transformation. The facility is expanding its size and scope, and will be re-opening it’s doors in a couple of years. In the months just before the scheduled down time the SFMOMA Education Team approached the CAST Academy at Balboa with the opportunity to pilot program work in a more responsive model. The interest in working with CAST was due to the fact that we had an team of teachers across subject areas and a focus on cross curricular integration, and the education team was interested in exploring possibilities and program development in relation to teachers in different subject areas. Initial meetings between museum staff and teachers, and the discussion of how we have used the museum and it’s collection in the past in relation to our curricular linking thematic lenses, led to the development and exploration of “Curating and Context” as an approach to take with students, projects, and discussions.

The work and the dialogue has continued to unfold, and in the last year we have continued to work around visits to the museum before closing, and to new offsite exhibitions like “SFMOMA On the GO: Los Altos”. We have been very fortunate that in post visits, we have been able to bring in guest artists and museum curating staff to discuss and share with the students the work they do. This year we took our Juniors to visit, photograph, and film, one of the series of Map Projects:Art Walks that artist David Wilson created, while our Senior students explored one of David’s museum art lessons/activities and created an installation for a local event hosted by another partner organization, Out of Site. David then came to the school and shared more of his work and process as an artist and students had and opportunity to ask questions.

Most recently we visited the SFMOMA: Los Altos project to view a city wide curated exhibition of art work created in response to the history, people, and culture of the town and it’s place as a center of the Silicon Valley. The SFMOMA Education Team and the CAST teachers, met, discussed, and planned curriculum and activities that gave us a chance to tie together many of the ideas and concepts we explore with the students over the years we work with them, including “The More You Look the More You See”, “Construction/Deconstruction”, “Context as Content” and now “Curating and Context”.

Our post visit experience with the artist Chris Johanson, was again, a great opportunity for students to hear and learn more about the experience and development of Chris as an working artist, his views and thinking about the work he creates, and lastly just sharing great advice about being a young person, living a creative life, and figuring out your goals and direction.

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