The Story Project: A Model for Achieving Profound Inclusion in Museums

By Viki Thompson Wylder and Marcia Meale.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

How do museums encourage a more inclusive and profound involvement? How do museums and their education programs acquire new criteria for such development? The Story Project, a three year grass-roots engendered program undertaken by the Florida State University (FSU) Museum of Fine Arts with the Leon County School System in Tallahassee, provides a praxis model based primarily on the theoretical premises of constructivism and comprehensive art education.

This paper will show methods and processes for organically achieving inclusivity as well as show the interconnectedness of inclusivity that was achieved by this project. Diverse teachers, culturally and academically, became curators and catalogue authors. K-12 students joined professional artists as exhibitors. University students became curatorial assistants, educators, and registrars. Professional artists became K-12 educators, interacting electronically or visiting public schools. Regional, national, international, and multi-cultural artists were tapped for the exhibition of their works. Diverse artistic approaches, media, and style were united. Connections were drawn between forms like traditional quilts, documentary photography, surrealistic painting, and non-representational sculpture, between the layers of meanings of the works and the life of those in the community. Individual education methods were employed by teachers involved with the project, those that emphasized a formalist or constructivist approach, those that utilized visual culture or the importance of enduring ideas and multiple strands (art history and criticism, aesthetics, and production) within comprehensive art education.

The FSU Museum employs six people, yet this project included as venture partners: 20 curatorial team members, 25 schools, over 700 K-12 exhibitors, other community organizations, 24 artists, and approximately 30 university students.

Keywords: Museum Education, Art Education, Praxis Model, Constructivism, Comprehensive Art Education, Enduring Ideas, Visual Culture

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.109-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.603MB).

Dr. Viki Thompson Wylder

Curator of Education, Education Program, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

As Curator of Education for the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Thompson Wylder provides analysis and interpretation of exhibitions through the following means: acts as liaison to, and directs on- and off-site, all school projects; creates educational projects and packets; works with student docents and volunteer program; acts as liaison to several campus departments, serves as contact/advisor to the Artists’ League of the Museum. Dr. Thompson Wylder occasionally takes on projects often viewed as outside the purview of the Education Program. She has co-curated several exhibitions. She authored/curated the Judy Chicago retrospective, titled Trials and Tributes, arranging for an eight museum tour (catalogue). Thompson Wylder, a Judy Chicago scholar, has published a number of articles/essays on the artist. In addition she teaches the core class for the Florida State University Women’s Studies Program titled Women in Western Culture.

Dr. Marcia Meale

Art Instructor/Team Leader, Arts Programs, Conley School at Southwood, Leon County School System, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Since 2001 and the inclusion of the arts in the National Board Certification Program, Dr. Marcia Meale has been a national board certified teacher in early and middle childhood art. Dr. Meale has taught for over 21 years, 18 of which have been spent in a Title 1 setting. In 2004/2005, she accepted an Associate Visiting Professor position at the University of South Carolina. For the last three years she has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Art Education Department of Florida State University as well as the Educators’ Preparation Institute at Tallahassee Community College. She has given numerous presentations at national conferences concerning the uses of digital media in the arts and metacognition and its role in student progress and assessment in the arts. In addition she often spearheads local workshops and book studies related to recent scholarship in the field.

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