Connections: 'Art on the Spot'
By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | December 28, 2009During VMFA's expansion construction, galleries sometimes were closed or became inaccessible to school groups. An Art on the Spot program was launched as an in-school alternative for metropolitan Richmond.
Art on the Spot quickly became one of the most actively requested educational programs, and now it is offered statewide. Last year, the program reached more than 13,000 students across the state.
In Southwest Virginia, Art on the Spot for first-, third-, and fourth-graders, complements William King's VanGogh Outreach program for second-graders. Jennifer Smith is a part-time educator for the VMFA who lives in Abingdon. Last year she traveled to approximately 60% of schools in our area, including sites in Abingdon, Appalachia, Atkins, Bristol, Chilhowie, Clintwood, Duffield, Lebanon, Marion, Meadowview, Rural Retreat, Saltville, Sugar Grove, Tazewell, Weber City, and more.
Thematic lessons are designed to creatively teach the art and history of world cultures using age-appropriate curriculum that supports specific Standards-of-Learning objectives for Virginia Public Schools. Instructors lead students on an exploration of images from the museum's collections through teaching tools, such as posters and objects that can be handled by children. An interactive arts experience is incorporated into each lesson as well as video excerpts from VMFA's media-resource library.
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