Posts Tagged ‘ARRT’

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ARRT! Collaboration

April 8, 2021

Portland Museum of Art and Portland High School

Collaboration comes in many forms and can make a huge difference in the education of students. I’ve observed collaborations that start with a small idea and grow into a long-term meaningful learning opportunity. Quite often, not only are students learning but the adults, who are behind the details, are expanding their knowledge as well.

One such opportunity is presently underway at Portland High School (PHS) in collaboration with the Portland Museum of Art (PMA). The PMA Learning & Teaching Specialist Meghan Quigley Graham has been working with the Portland Public Schools (PPS) Partnerships since 2019. The PPS/PMA Partnerships was established as a way to connect with educators and students in the district on a deeper level. The partnerships work with individual educators to collaboratively build opportunities for free-choice, student-driven learning. Through these partnerships, they learn more about access barriers and opportunities for the PMA to be a better resource for educators throughout Maine. These partnerships within the PPS district help to inform ways that the museum can expand capacity for more direct collaboration with educators in other districts.

Meghan has been working with art teacher Louis Pierre Lachapelle as part of the PPS/PMA Partnerships. Louis taught at Lincoln Middle School before taking the position at Portland High School two years ago. This school year, Meghan and Louis wanted to connect students with artists featured in the Untitled 2020: Art from Maine in a ____ Time exhibition at the PMA. It was important that the youth voice be a part of this exhibition in some way, as young people have a lot to express about the year that 2020 was, just as the artists featured in the exhibition do. The PMA’s main role in this partnership was to connect Louis and the Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT)! They will also be reflecting on the experience and sharing that out with wider audiences once the collaboration is complete. They hope to find a way to display some of the artwork that students create.

Each week the artists of ARRT! connect with Louis’ advanced students and provide them feedback and comments on the art they have underway. Students are inspired by the conversations and are very engaged in the opportunity. Louis acknowledged that not only do the artists’ have so much to offer students but PMA does as well. It’s a win-win for everyone.

For those who don’t know ARRT! they create banners and props to promote the work of progressive non-profits across Maine. You can learn more at THIS LINK. ARRT! artists’ are also members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA). ARRT! collaborates with 60+ non-profit, progressive groups to promote social change in Maine. ARRT artists’ are pleased to be working with the PHS students in Louis’ classes. They are concerned about the future so being able to work with high schoolers provides a wonderful opportunity to address their concern. With the pandemic ARRT! has shifted how they perform their mission. Maine artist Natasha Mayers who established ARRT! says: “One of the best things to come out of this work with the PHS class is to work as a team, an expert panel, seeing how much we  have to offer the students. I’m overwhelmed by the skill and kindness and generosity and insight that the other ARRTists bring to the discussion. The students get feedback from at least 3 or 4 of us. Lucky students.”  In addition, this opportunity opens up a new window for ARRT. “We have worked together for years, but not in this way, so it is a new appreciation of each other and of ARRT! collaboration.”

ARRT! was selected to participate in the juried exhibition Untitled, 2020: Art From Maine In A _______ Time, which runs until May 31, 2021. The PMA is now open to the public by advance time ticketed only.

Meghan said: “PMA is always looking for more ways to collaborate and partner with Maine educators! If anyone is interested in discussing potential collaborations and partnerships with the PMA.” Please contact Meghan at mquigley@portlandmuseum.org.

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