The de Saisset Museum presents eight to twelve temporary exhibitions each year in addition to the permanent California History exhibit. Each show provides ample opportunity to enhance learning outside the classroom. Several models for incorporating exhibitions into the learning process already exist; however the museum staff gladly welcomes new ideas.
Guest curator Art Hazelwood discusses the content of and history behind the exhibition, Between Struggle and Hope: Envisioning a Democratic Art in the 1930s, with a group of SCU students.
Enhancing Learning through Exhibitions
Develop a writing assignment
SCU faculty frequently use the museum's exhibitions as a point of inspiration for student writing assignments. Assignments range for visual analysis to research papers, to creative writing and poetry.
Invite an artist or curator to your class
Art making often serves to introduce new ideas and encourage dialogue; it can offer a palatable entry into difficult subjects. Consider inviting an artist or curator to visit your class to discuss the themes or topics addressed in an exhibition.
Involve your students in exhibition research and writing
Every exhibition creates an opportunity for research and scholarship. Collaborate with museum staff to get students involved in researching and writing exhibition texts and object labels. Past projects have also afforded students the opportunity to contribute to a published catalogue.
Help us add technology
Like almost everywhere, museums are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. Ask your students to collaborate with museum staff to integrate technology into an existing or upcoming exhibition through the use of audio tours, videos, or the development of an app.
Develop a creative project
Consider developing a more involved project based on exhibition content that encourages creative thinking. Examples include the use of video to reflect on an exhibition's theme, the creation of original works of art in connection with an exhibition topic, and the creation of musical compositions in response to works on display.
Propose an exhibition
Propose an exhibition that speaks to the museum's mission and core values. Exhibitions may include the results of students' work, they may be drawn from the museum's permanent collection and curated by students, or they may showcase recent research on one or more collections objects.