A group of ITRTs and Art teachers recently had the opportunity to visit the brand new Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke for a workshop lead by Scott Crawford, the Deputy Director of Education at the Museum, and some of his staff. Throughout the day, we had the opportunity to learn about ways the Art Museum is using technology. If you haven’t already checked out the museum’s website, I highly recommend it.
We had the opportunity to play around with a brand new tool for the Museum called WAIT. This tool allows teachers and students to
“…interact with various art works from the Taubman Museum of Art’s permanent collection at six different levels. Through this program, you’ll be able to share your thoughts about the art work’s description, emotional tone, symbolism, composition, and it’s relationship to other content areas.”
During our workshop, we worked with a 1945 piece called Pax Pacific, and learned how knowing its historical context helped us interpret its meaning. We also worked on some other pieces using the WAIT interactive tool.
While we didn’t have the opportunity to visit any exhibits because last minute construction was still going on (the museum opens officially this weekend), we did get to learn about some of the exhibits. As a technology person, the one that excites me the most is the Revo/Over exhibit, featuring an “interactive, digital art installation that uses visual and aural information to create an interaction between viewers and the work.” Pretty much the art work will respond to the viewer’s movements and sounds and location in the exhibit, thanks to technology. The piece had many artists…people collaborated from various departments at Virginia Tech and across the globe. I can’t wait to see this exhibit based on the videos and pictures we were shown of its creation.
Finally, we had a chance to preview the video conferencing capabilities of the museum which allow for virtual field trips. This service gives teachers and students opportunities to work with art at the museum, and the museum’s educational staff, without ever leaving the classroom.
During our visit, we did have the opportunity to tour the first floor of the museum and see the amazing architecture from the inside. The views of the city, Mill Mountain Star, and the surrounding mountains were beautiful, especially at this time of year. The Roanoke Times has published an extensive webpage on the museum, complete with video and interactive information, if you would like to learn more.
Photograph by Tim Hursley