Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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May 28, 2009

Museums in the Summertime

This year, my Principal agreed to compact my teaching schedule to fit into the first, five days of a six-day cycle. On the sixth day of the cycle, I was able to take one of my 27 classes on a field trip to a local museum within the tri-state area. So just about once a week, I took one of my elementary classes to a museum. The Hastings Education Foundation (the local education foundation in my town) and the Cultural Arts Committee awarded a grant to my school to fund the cost of the trips and the parents of each student graciously covered the bus expenses. This year, we have gone to the Museum of Modern Art, The Katonah Museum of Art, The Neuberger Museum of ArtThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the PEPSICO Sculpture Garden.

IMG_3991_200   IMG_1016_2302 

I was able to work with each museum’s education department to schedule the best possible trips for each of the classes. The students had deep and rich learning experiences at each museum. Encounters with different cultural institutions respond to the New York State Learning Standards in the Visual Arts.  And as much as I love to bring incredibly Art experiences to my students, this is not what I really want to talk about. It is barely the end of May and I am already planning my museum visits for the summer. I am happy to say, that my summertime involves as much Art as the school year does. As the end of the school year quickly approaches, I am already picking out different Museums that I want to visit. Here is a short list of museum exhibits that I plan to see over the summer:

Museum of Modern Art (NYC) – James Ensor
Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) – Olafur Eliasson
CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art  - Rachel Harrison
Art Institute of Chicago – Cy Twombly
Hammer Museum (LA) – Larry Johnson
DIA:BEACON – Antoni Tapies 

Needless to say, if I am able to get to Dublin this summer, I am certainly going to swing by the Irish Museum of Modern Art to see the survey of Terry Winter’s paintings. Feel free to share any plans that you might have to visit some museums during summer break. I am always looking for interesting exhibits to see in the summer so it might be helpful to start thinking about it now!


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Nikki F. Kalcevic

That is wonderful that you school administrator recognized your request and need for students to experience art outside of the school building.

I took a group of my junior high art students to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, OK this past May, and their reaction and interaction in and around the museum was priceless.

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