Kress Foundation Scholarship Recipient Responds to 2016 Annual Conference

Thank you very much for awarding me a Kress Foundation Scholarship to attend the 2016 AAMG conference. During the conference, I attended the 20 x 20 talks on Tuesday evening, the two main panels on Wednesday morning, the breakout session on student curatorial projects, and the final breakout session concerning students as employees.

One of my favorite sessions was the panel on STEM to STEAM. I was excited to hear from both science faculty members as well as the biology major who conducted an interdisciplinary project using methodologies from both art history and ecology. I was able to gain new insight into how museum educators and collaborators might pedagogically fuse science and art. Prior to this, my own contact with these intersections had been primarily one-off, content-based class tours, so it was enlightening to see case studies on more deeply engaging projects and classes. I was also happy to see how involved the faculty members were in the planning and execution of these courses. At times, planning with instructors for course sessions seems to fall solely on museum staff. While we are specialists in our own field and collections, the added benefits of the instructor’s knowledge and participation were clearly articulated in this session. I am looking forward to when syllabi and course materials from these collaborations become available online.

Other speakers that I enjoyed involved different methods for student curation and multi-visit museum projects. I was quite interested in the Harn Museum’s choreographer-in-residence program as a multi-sensory event. One of my favorite presentations was from Helen Flaherty of the Trout Gallery. As a student myself, I was thrilled by the opportunities and responsibilities available at this institution for undergraduate students and the cross-department experience cultivated for their student staff. That the museum is so student driven gave me a number of ideas in terms of the ways in which undergraduates can be participatory advocates for a university art museum or gallery.

The AAMG conference was extremely collegial and I was fortunate to meet other museum professionals with whom I hope to keep in touch. This year’s sessions included case studies that were inspiring and educational for someone like me who is just starting out in the museum field. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity to attend on a Kress Foundation Fellowship. I feel energized after participating in such an excellent event and am very much looking forward to the 2017 conference!

Sincerely, Laura K. Minton

Categories: General Announcement