Archive for the 'Education' Category

We <3 our Members!

As the Gibbes Museum prepared to close in August of 2014 for renovations, staff had planned for years to make the transition flow as seamlessly as possible. Artwork was packed and stored offsite, funds were raised, locations for programs and events were secured, in-school programs were organized and membership benefits were altered. Myself and others in the Development department set to work designing new benefits that would continue to engage our members even though we did not have a museum to offer. This required some creative thinking from the entire staff as to how each department could expand their outreach towards our members. We understood that we would lose some members as a result of not having the museum open, but hoped that many members would continue to support the institution through this period. I’m happy to report that the continued support of our members, even while closed, has been overwhelming! Not only did we retain a vast majority of members, but we’ve welcomed many new members who have joined since we closed!

Philippe de Montebello 2015 Distinguished Lecturer

Philippe de Montebello speaks to a full house at the 2015 Distinguished Lecture Series at Memminger Auditorium.

Society 1858's Stork Club

Society 1858 hosted Stork Club, their annual winter fundraiser, at No. 5 Faber in January.

For the past 18 months, one of the main benefits of membership that the Museum emphasized was our extensive schedule of educational programs, classes for adults and children, and legendary parties. Members receive discounted tickets to these events and were the first to hear about them. Not only did we retain the same number of programs hosted when the Museum was open, but we added dozens more, including the Insider Art series which featured exclusive art viewing opportunities around town. Exploring these new venues and meeting all of our wonderful members and supporters is one of my favorite parts of being the Membership Coordinator at the Museum. Whether it’s at events, on the phone or via email, I get the chance to interact with our members on a daily basis and share in the excitement for these programs and the artistic community in Charleston. I feel honored and blessed to share in the excitement surrounding the reopening of the Gibbes.

Insider Art with Andrew Brunk

Brunk Auctions president, Andrew Brunk, spoke to a crowd at the Gibbes Museum’s Insider Art Series.

If you’ve been a member of the Gibbes family for years, or are just hearing about the Museum for the first time, there has never been a better time to become a member or renew your membership! New membership benefits and prices will go into effect on May 1st, so renew now to take advantage of our current pricing. All members will receive free admission to the Museum, discounts on programs and classes, and those at the Family level and above receive reciprocal (free or discounted) admission at over 800 museums throughout the United States and Canada. The Museum is scheduled to reopen to the public on May 28 and we have a wonderful lineup of exhibitions and programs that you will not want to miss.

Gibbes Museum of Art

The Gibbes Museum of Art

Gibbes on the Street: The Year of the Gibbes: May 12, 7:30-10pm – Please join us for our annual celebration in front of the Gibbes Museum on Meeting Street for a night filled with delicious bites from some of Charleston’s best restaurants. (Members $150, Non Members $175)

Museum Members Preview: May 27, 3-6pm – All museum members are invited to tour the renovated building and exhibitions before the Museum opens to the public on May 28. (Free) May 28–October 9 – This exhibition celebrates George Gershwin’s famed opera, Porgy and Bess, as interpreted by visual artists since its creation. The exhibition includes a number of paintings from the 1930s era, including works by American realist George Biddle and paintings by Gershwin himself. The 1930s works are paired with more recent interpretations by contemporary artists Kara Walker and Jonathan Green.

The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South: May 28–October 9 – The Things We Carry features paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media works by a diverse group of contemporary artists. This exhibition addresses the difficult history of the south and the ways it is manifest today and provides a place where the Charleston community and visitors alike can come together to discuss the city’s past and the impact of the tragic 2015 Emanuel AME Church shooting, as well as celebrate the community’s response to social challenges.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Grand Reopening: May 28, 10am – Please join the Gibbes Board of Directors, elected officials, and distinguished guests on the front plaza for the Grand Reopening of the Museum! (Free for Members. Included with Museum Admission for Non-Members)

Not sure if you’re a member or if your membership is current? Give me a call at 843.722.2706 x221 or email me at I would love to hear from you, and from all of us at the Gibbes, we hope to see you this summer when we officially reopen!

Amanda Breen, Membership Coordinator, Gibbes Museum of Art

Visiting Artists Coming to the Gibbes

With temperatures going up and scaffolding coming down, it is clear that the reopening of the Gibbes on May 28th is fast approaching. During my second semester as an intern at the Gibbes, I have been given the opportunity to see a lot of projects develop and cannot wait to see them come to life this spring. One of the projects I have been most excited about is the Visiting Artist program that will have a home in the Museum’s new first floor studios. Not only will the Visiting Artist program give the community opportunities to interact with the artists, but the series will be a great way to intersperse contemporary art into Charleston’s understanding of art in the South. The first visiting artist will be Sonya Clark, the 2014 winner of the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Soutnern Art, who will be in the studio from May 28–June 2.

Clark’s is known for her unique choices in media including beads, combs, and human hair. Her work not only addresses issues such as race, culture, class, and history but also aims to make a personal connection to viewers. During her time in Charleston, she will bring to the Gibbes an interactive project called “Pluck and Grow.” This installation is a collaborative piece between Clark and Museum visitors. Clark uses hair as metaphor for what connects us as humans, separates us into racial groups, and makes us individuals. The artist invites people to write their “hair stories” on a piece of paper—whether that be a poem, a story, or a drawing. The paper will be dyed in varying shades of black, brown, and blonde to give the appearance of human hair and Clark will twist and insert them into “follicles” drilled into a surface, referencing a human head. Once on display, Clark invites viewers to pluck a strand, read the story, and replace it with their own hair story on a slip of white paper. As these new stories replace the original ones, the piece will take on the appearance of aging—as real human hair would.

Pluck and Grow by Sonya Clark

A detail of an installation of “Pluck and Grow” by Sonya Clark.

This installation piece will provide a great opportunity for visitors to engage with the artist, and I think it is a perfect way to introduce the Visiting Artist program at the Gibbes. I know that Sonya Clark isn’t the only amazing artist they have lined up—painter Jill Hooper will be in the studio immediately following Clark as she prepares for a large-scale fresco in Jerusalem, Israel. I am so excited for what the future of this program holds!

Valerie Coughlin, College of Charleston intern and guest blogger

Art of Healing: Embracing the Fall

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb

Embrace the Fall (ETF) is the essential roadmap for turning our biggest challenges into life’s greatest gifts. When life changes in a big way, it can strip us down to an otherwise undiscovered, uncomfortable level of vulnerability. When submerged in it, trauma feels like a sign glued to our forehead that binds us to the fear that surfaces. However, at its best, trauma offers a surprisingly fresh perspective that propels us to an all new level of seeing life through a clearer lens to create a life we love.

Responses to stress range. Circumstances vary. In any traumatic situation, we can consider the event we are experiencing, our unique personality, and perhaps even our ability to be (as researcher Brené Brown puts it) bouncy. Yes, some people bounce back after suffering faster than others. Yet if we understand what gives us that element of resilience, we can adopt practices that produce brighter outcomes.

Caryn Antos O'Hara

Caryn Antos O’Hara

As a two-time colon cancer survivor and someone who knows the rug-pulled-from-under-you feeling well, the design of this program is one chock-full of insightful exercises. We get to the heart of our personal reality, drop the story, and choose thankfulness. We spice things up by getting creative and finding our fun. We gain deeper self-awareness and play with tension relievers to embrace what is within even while doing without. We will breathe and move with intention, reflect, write, release, and laugh.

The ETF program is a combination of mindfulness practices all proven to alter the patterns of the brain that allow us to see life differently, even during the darkest moments of our lives. By using this toolbox consistently we change the perception of our experience. Consequently, we change our entire existence. This is called neuroplasticity, which is the same phenomenon that happens when stroke patients recapture brain function and regain body control. Once we learn to feel more gratitude and compassion during the perceived “fall”, we land on the other side stronger than we ever imagined possible.


Joseph Campbell refers to the evolution of a warrior as the Hero’s Journey. When we are in the midst of struggle, there is a point around which we can pivot and redirect our trajectory. With the willingness to get out of our own way, we clarify our thinking. What we once saw as an obstacle is no longer. This is when connection to something larger happens. The end result is more clarity, better health, and creative ideas that ignite our passions. Consequently our artistic expression moves into full swing.

The Hero's Journey

It’s that simple. We learn the tools. We practice using them. Then our response to change becomes a gratitude reflex. So the next time a traumatic experience knocks on our door, we greet it like the familiar friend that it is.

Caryn Antos O’Hara, E-RYT and guest blogger

Join Caryn on Monday, March 15, for the Art of Healing workshop, Embrace the Fall: The Heart of Healing, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Register online now.

Charleston Receipts: Junior Docents on the Go

During the Gibbes Museum renovation, we’ve taken our Junior Docent program on the road! Several local institutions, like the Charleston Museum, have helped out by providing rich resources for students to research and a venue for them to present their findings. Two Ashley Hall students share their experiences with this program, here and in the previous post.

In the very last week of October 2015, the whole seventh grade at Ashley Hall was gathered together. Our English teachers stood at the front of the room, about to assign our second quarter project. Once everyone was situated, they started speaking.

We were going to explore more about Charleston’s history. To do so, each of us would be assigned to research a different aspect of our city’s history. To that end, we would write an informative essay on the topic we were assigned, and prepare an oral presentation to give at the Charleston Museum.
I was assigned the topic “suppertime in the Lowcountry during the mid-19th century.” I started by finding reliable sources to use for research. I ordered a book entitled, Forgotten Elegance, written by Wendell and Wes Schollander, and went to the Historic Charleston Foundation to gather information on my topic. It was interesting to learn about the ingredients, such as turtle, that people in the 1800s in Charleston, South Carolina, would use in their recipes; and the silver pieces they would decorate their tables with.

Mia Lassiter, Gibbes Museum Junior docent

Mia Lassiter with the book she found on her assigned topic, “Suppertime in the Lowcountry.”

Halfway through November, my English class took a trip to the Charleston Museum. We listened to Pat and Elise, the Gibbes museum docents, as they spoke about the history of Charleston. We observed how they engaged, educated, and entertained their audience. We were then led around the museum, finding which glass case we would stand before to give our speech. I was to speak in front of a case filled with beautiful silver flatware and pitchers, similar to what would have decorated a dining room table in the Lowcountry during the 1800s.

Finally, it was the second week of December—exam week. Tuesday morning rolled around, and I found myself standing in the lobby of the Charleston Museum. I was so nervous to give my speech. It would only be in front of half of my class and their parents, yet still I had butterflies in my stomach. Once everyone arrived, my classmates and I lead the group upstairs. Two girls introduced our assignment, and then people started to present.

When the student before me started giving her speech, a group of elementary school children entered the museum. They made quite a racket, speaking to each other and pointing at things in the glass cases. I felt bad for the girl who was speaking, as she had a loud group in the background, and hoped that the children wouldn’t drown out my presentation.

After what seemed like ten seconds, but was really five minutes, it was my turn to speak. I had to lead parents and my teacher to the section of the museum where the silver flatware and pitchers were located. I walked ahead of the group, but was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find the right glass case. Doubt crept into my mind, and I felt anxious. I had only been shown where it was once, and that had been a month ago.

I did, however, find the right place with ease. Once I saw the shining silver pieces reflected in the glass case in front of me, I knew I was in the right place. It felt like one heavy weight was lifted off of me, and the second one would be gone after my presentation. I started to talk, but the elementary children had followed us, and I could barely hear what I was saying, so my audience probably couldn’t either! I tried to speak up, but I have a quiet voice, so I found it hard. I felt like I was screaming over echoing sounds of excited school children!

Soon, it was time for me to conclude my speech, and I introduced the next girl who would speak. She lead us over to another part of the museum, and I finally felt relieved. It was all over! I had finished my presentation, my paper was turned in weeks beforehand, and I could relax.

Following the holiday break, my class received our badges in English class. They had our names on them with the words, “Junior Docent.” My experience as a junior docent was very nerve-wracking, but fun at the same time. I enjoyed learning about Charleston’s culture and history while working on my assignment. At the museum, I learned many new and interesting facts about Charleston, as well. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to practice orally presenting at the Charleston Museum.

Mia Lassiter, 7th grader at Ashley Hall and a Gibbes Museum Junior Docent

Ahoy Maties! Junior Docents on the Go

During the Gibbes Museum renovation, we’ve taken our Junior Docent program on the road! Several local institutions, like the Charleston Museum, have helped out by providing rich resources for students to research and a venue for them to present their findings. Two Ashley Hall students share their experiences with this program, here and in the next post.

I’m Ainslee Newman, a seventh grader at Ashley Hall. This past December, we were assigned a project discussing what makes Charleston special. Throughout our research we discovered so many new things from the past, and I was surprised to find out that much of that history still relates to our community! Each girl in our class got the opportunity to tell about her subject and educate the people of town. After a couple months of preparation, we were ready to be junior docents at the Charleston Museum! However, our job wasn’t just putting our research into a paper and talking, it was also learning how to engage, entertain, and educate our audience. Engaging them meant understanding the appropriate time to ask questions, and getting the audience interested. Entertaining them meant knowing what fun facts to tell that might not be known by other people. Educating them meant teaching important information about our topic and the unique history of Charleston.

Ainslee Newman presents to classmates at the Charleston Museum.

Ainslee Newman presents to classmates at the Charleston Museum.

Once it was time for me to present, I was a bundle of nerves, but while I was speaking, I started to feel more comfortable, because I knew everything I was supposed to say and had plenty of information. Since my presentation was about pirates, I had to become an expert about them around Charles Town in the early 1700s. I was not the only one that had to learn a lot—my other classmates did too, so I was able to absorb in other topics as well!

From this Junior Docent project I learned not only about this remarkable city, but also the skills to make my pirate presentation and all of my future presentations their very best. This project was a great experience to be a part of, and the Charleston Museum helped me and my English class grasp special parts of history, and helped us engage, entertain, and educate not only our audience, but also each other.

Ainslee Newman, 7th grader at Ashley Hall and a Gibbes Museum Junior Docent

Summer Art Camp at the Gibbes!

The Gibbes Education staff are excited for the opportunity to host our Summer Art Camp in the Museum after many years at satellite locations around town. After the renovations are complete, our first floor will include four studios for hands-on art classes, as well as our Artist in Residence program. We took a moment to chat with Janell Walker and Abby Stone, who will be sharing their knowledge and skills with campers this summer. Janell is a full time art teacher at North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School, and Abby is a lead teacher for 3 and 4 year olds at O’Quinn Preschool in Mt. Pleasant.

We asked Abby and Janell how they integrate the arts into everyday lessons, or in Janell’s case, how she incorporates what the students are learning outside the art room.

JW: One of my strong points as an art teacher is meeting a student’s needs by establishing a personal understanding of each individual child. My objective is to improve student awareness of the arts; and to apply interdisciplinary-based lessons involving math, science, language arts, social studies, and multiculturalism.

AS: I am a firm believer that arts can improve and deepen any learning experience. Being a preschool teacher, I think I may have more opportunity than elementary or upper school teachers to integrate art into my lesson plans. For each unit, I implement activities that get students moving, building, gluing, cutting, drawing, painting, or sculpting. There are so many different types of learners so I make sure to provide ample opportunities for auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or any combination to get students engaged.

Gibbes Art Camp

What are your feelings on being the first summer camp inside the museum?

AS: I am really looking forward to teaching in the newly renovated space. We will have so many amenities to work with, be it the educational space itself, art exhibits, the Museum’s permanent collection, the gardens, or the technology available to us.

This summer, we are offering six themes for art campers. What can the kids expect to learn in these different sessions?

AS: Each week this summer has a great theme. The Coastal Creations week will be very hands on. We will use lots of materials found on the beach right here in Charleston. This will make it very relevant and engaging for the children.

JW: Yes. In this session, campers will also explore beach sensory bins, make sea glass mosaics, and print with real fish!

Campers who attend the Go Green session will learn the importance of recycling and all the amazing things that can be made out of recycled materials. We’ll make musical instruments, paper mâché masks, magazine collages, and found object sculptures.

The Art of Asia week will allow campers to create Japanese wood block prints, dye Indonesian batik, practice Chinese brush painting, and even put on their own Balinese shadow puppet show!

AS: My grandmother is a lifelong artist who has always had a great interest in Asian inspired art and I have definitely inherited some of her passion in that area. I am looking forward to making some really gorgeous prints, paintings, and puppets with the children.

JW: The Greats theme will focus on iconic artists like Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, and O’Keeffe among others, and Music, Movement, and Masterpieces campers will dance, sculpt, paint, write, and draw while listening to music from around the world.

AS: I am really excited about the Movement and Masterpieces week, too. I believe that art should be a whole body experience involving all of our senses and this week will really showcase that.

JW: Explorer campers will learn the basic techniques of art—painting, drawing, creating, and sculpting—while highlighting creativity and self-expression.

AS: I also plan on having sensory bins that correspond with the theme of each particular week. It’s going to be great!

Gibbes Art Camp

What do you want parents to know about sending their kids to Summer Art Camp?

JW: Our camp will be filled with new experiences that inspire campers. We will learn about the beautiful artworks in the Gibbes Museum by taking a tour of the galleries. Each week, children will study basic art skills and expand their artistic expression, style, and visual vocabulary. At the end of each week, campers will exhibit the work they have created for parents to come and see.

AS: Parents should be very excited about this summer at the Gibbes! Janell and I are both experienced teachers with strong art backgrounds so the little ones will be in good hands. Each week, campers will be exposed to many different types of art, materials, and artists… Not to mention the amazing new space we will have to learn in!

Gibbes Art Camp

What do you hope the campers will take away from their experience at Summer Art Camp?
JW: Whether or not campers consider themselves artists, each course will help them grow and gain confidence. All session will include playing, learning, experimenting, and expanding horizons through the experience and pleasure of creating art.
AS: Campers should be excited because it’s going to be a hands on, fun filled, movin’ and shakin’ summer! We will dance, paint, carve, sculpt, sing, touch, glue, cut, and create.

Summer Art Camp sessions are filling quickly! The Gibbes Gator
Download a 2016 registration form or call 843.722.2706 x237/email with any questions.

Creative Teaching Techniques

A group of teachers sits clustered around a vibrant image of a little girl in a white dress standing in front of a wall covered by graffiti.


Artist, 2007, by Mary Whyte (American, b. 1953). Watercolor; 39 1/2 x 48 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. (Caroline) Anton Vreede.

“What do you think this means?” asks the workshop leader.
“I think this represents innocence,” says one teacher.
“Hmm, I think it looks more like the loss of innocence,” says another.
“What do you see in the painting that makes you think so?” asks the leader.

A lively conversation ensues about visual messages, evidence, symbolism, meaning, and how artists use images to communicate ideas. This conversation is the kind of conversation being held among teachers in local schools as they learn creative teaching techniques that will engage their students in building understanding through visual art. Due to generous funding provided by Arts, etc., Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) has partnered with the Gibbes Museum of Art to provide professional development for teachers at schools on Johns Island, SC.

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary

Gibbes Museum Educator Elise Detterbeck talks with teachers in a professional development workshop through ECM.

Engaging Creative Minds is a local non-profit that partners with the local arts community and school districts to bring creativity and innovation to the classroom. Arts, etc. is an organization of Kiawah and Cassique women committed to supporting the arts. The charitable organization has provided ECM with a grant to support local teachers and equip them with arts integrated teaching strategies.

Teaching children to “read” a piece of art mimics the process they use to read a piece of text. They have a chance to try out thinking skills such as identifying the main idea, noticing details, citing evidence, inferring, and many other skills we ask children to use with text. Even very young children can start practicing this kind of thinking with images before they have the reading skills to do it with text. It is very empowering for them.

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary

Teachers at Angel Oak Elementary School participate in an exercise to “read” a work of art.

Faculties from Angel Oak Elementary School and Haut Gap Middle School have already received professional development as a result of the partnership between ECM and the Gibbes Museum of Art. The response has been very positive. Many of the teachers have requested support in locating artistic images that correspond to their curriculum so that they can utilize art-based teaching strategies with their students. Elise Detterbeck, Gibbes Museum Educator, and ECM staff are working together to resource teachers with appropriate images. “These strategies are so engaging,” said one local teacher, “I know my kids will really respond to these images.” The workshops help teachers learn strategies for “making meaning” from images so they can lead their students through similar experiences. They also learn strategies for integrating writing as a response to the art.

Susan Antonelli, Education Director for Engaging Creative Minds, and guest blogger

In addition to professional development workshops for teachers, Engaging Creative Minds provides in-school programs in 20 Charleston County Schools and hosts Summer STEAM Institutes at The Citadel and the College of Charleston.

Museum Educators Get Back by Giving

Gibbes museum educators serve as the face of the museum in our area schools. Currently, we have a team of 8 that work with our in-school programs Eye Spy and Eye Opener. The team is responsible for carrying out curriculum needs in the classrooms while working with teachers. It is a partnership. We work to enhance what the students are already learning. Gibbes museum educators bring fresh faces, new ideas, and different areas of expertise to the table. I feel fortunate each day to have such a great team that can heighten Charleston area students and teachers awareness of the importance of visual arts education. One of our newest educators, Lucie Medbery, shares how working as a museum educator has been a great learning experience for her as she gets to know the Lowcountry. —Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education

Zucker Middle School students

Zucker Middle School students work on a writing project as part of the Eye Opener collaboration with ECM.

I am not from Charleston, but my husband grew up here. When we decided to retire, our hearts told us that Charleston was the place to be! As a retired educator, I hoped to find opportunities to work with students in challenging and engaging activities. I met Elise Detterbeck, who introduced me to the Museum’s Eye Spy program, and the Eye Opener program at Engaging Creative Minds (ECM). From there, the adventure began.

Museum Educator Lucie Medbery works with Zucker Middle School students.

Museum Educator Lucie Medbery works with Zucker Middle School students.

Drayton Hall students

Drayton Hall students enjoy the Gibbes Museum’s Eye Spy program.

Through these programs, I have met many talented and committed individuals, committed to using art as a vehicle to promote creativity, exploration, problem solving, and self awareness for students of all ages. I have learned a great deal about the rich artistic traditions that exist in the Lowcountry, and the thriving artist community here in Charleston. The dedicated staff at the Gibbes has been extremely supportive. I am so impressed with their expertise in developing meaningful programs for students in the area. As I learn about the plans underway for the reopening of the Gibbes, I am thrilled to be a small part in this tremendous endeavor.

Lucie Medberry works with Drayton Hall students.

Lucie Medberry works with Drayton Hall students.

Drayton Hall Elementary

Kids at Drayton Hall Elementary participate in the Eye Spy program.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my sessions with students in Eye Spy and ECM. In our discussions and activities with students about art, I witness their enthusiasm, insight, and inspiration. It is a privilege to be able participate in these valuable programs.

Lucie Medbery, Gibbes Museum Educator and Guest Blogger

How Art Engages Creative Minds

“Help! Our kids blanked out on last year’s writing test. They left the pages BLANK!”

That’s the kind of call for help I’ve been asked to address with an Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) project. ECM is a local non-profit that pairs teachers and art partners to collaborate on developing creative learning strategies in Charleston County Public Schools. The Gibbes is one of ECM’s Engaging Learning Experience (ELE) partners and we address all kinds of topics, using art as a springboard to self-expression.

This past December, my fellow museum educator Lucie Medbery and I started a 5-day writing workshop (held over two weeks) at Zucker Middle School. The aim was to get 180 7th-graders to WRITE, using 7th-grade science standards around biomes as ecosystems as our “springboard.” No more tests turned in with blank spaces!

Zucker Middle School students

Zucker Middle School students in Ms. Gleim’s ELA class.

The best part of an ECM project is the collaboration between partners (Lucie and me) and teachers (in this case, Elizabeth Gleim and Shorace Guider, 7th grade English Language Arts teachers). They ask for help, we “percolate” about how we can assist them, and together we come up with a plan. And the percolation part is so much fun! Lucie has a background in gifted education in Kansas City. My background is teaching French, and for many years I have been a museum educator at the Terra Museum in Chicago and at the Gibbes here in Charleston. We both have minds that respond to images and we both love kids.

Each planning session is so exciting! We throw out ideas, look for images, and before we know it, we can see multiple paths before us. But we have to keep returning to the standards we were asked to address. It takes a few sessions, but eventually we find the path we want to take. This project took many emails, lots of phone calls, and nine different PowerPoints to get the workshop to be what we wanted.

The use of media this time was so inspiring. Each 7th grader at Zucker has an iPad and we used them big time! When my teacher realized that I was continually morphing the PowerPoint presentations, she asked if she could upload them to the students’ iPads, and it worked so well!

At first, the students got so excited about the images that they would fast forward to see what was coming next. Then, we started loading our “homework” assignments on their iPads, while encouraging them to actually write with a pencil in their ECM composition books, and skip lines so they could edit their work. The students had it all on their personal tablets: the images, the assignments, and what was coming up next. They responded beautifully to the POWER it gave them.

Students act out a food chain during the "Biome to Biome" day.

Students act out a food chain during the “Biome to Biome” day.

One of the highlights of this project, for me anyway, was our “Biome to Biome” day. Each student drew a card (a specific animal) out of a deck of different animals. They had to assume that animal’s identity, find their biome, and then interact with the other “animals” in that biome. Then, of course, we asked them to write about it. With this exercise, it didn’t seem to matter where the students were in the 7th-grade hierarchy of reading, understanding, and writing levels. They just GOT it!

Acting out a food chain in the marine biome.

Acting out a food chain in the marine biome.

From “It all started at the Watering Hole” to “How I survived a Food Chain,” these students were fired up with images and ready to write down what they saw, what it meant, and how they felt about it. The writing samples are, of course, varied according to individual abilities, but each student seemed to have that aha moment.

Zucker Middle School student

A Zucker Middle School student shows off his writing sample from the workshop.

What a wonderful feeling by the end of the workshop to say “now write,” and have them all pick up their pens (not pencils!—we wanted them to learn to edit) and with great enthusiasm, WRITE! Many thanks to the Gibbes Museum and to ECM for giving us such fun opportunities to link art with learning!

Elise Detterbeck & Lucie Medbery, Museum Educators and Guest Bloggers

Staff Resolutions for 2016

2015 has been a wonderful year, and we’re grateful for the support from our members, donors, volunteers, board members, and corporate partners—a community coming together to make the arts in Charleston shine. We asked the Gibbes Staff to share some of their resolutions for the Museum in the New Year. We’re calling 2016 “The Year of the Gibbes,” with so much in store as the Museum plans to reopen its doors this spring. We cannot wait to invite you into the newly renovated building to view the reinstalled collection and special exhibitions, and to participate in our roster of exciting programs and events. Wishing you a Happy New Year full of creativity and inspiration!

—The Gibbes Staff

Erin Banks, Creative Director
–Establish a new Gibbes logo with the help of Gil Shuler Design.

–Launch a new Gibbes website, created by Blue Ion.

–Gather new exhibition images to use in our print materials!

John Westmark exhibition opening

Photo by MCG Photography

Rebecca Sailor, Curator of Education

–Enjoy good food and drink at the new Museum Café.

–Reopen the Museum with exhibitions, programs, and events that excite the Charleston community and visitors alike.

–Have a successful six weeks of Summer Art Camp for the first time ever in the building.

Summer Art Camp 2013

Photo by Carolina Photosmith

Becca Hiester, Curatorial Assistant
–Bring all of my friends in town on a tour of the museum, my own personal Museum Hack. Some of my friends have never been to the museum before (even if they grew up here!), and I need to spread the love!

Gibbes exhibition opening

Photo by MCG Photography

Jennifer Ross, Director of Development

–First and foremost, achieve our goal of $13.4M for the capital campaign to renovate and restore the Gibbes.

Gibbes Capital Campaign Thermometer

–Welcome back our community—both visitors and long-time supporters—to the Gibbes, the oldest museum building in the south, this coming spring.

–Engage visitors in our center of creativity with world-class exhibitions, lectures and programs.

Lasley Steever, Director of Programs and Events

–Establish an Artist-in-Residence program with outstanding contemporary artists whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South.

–Provide great programs allowing visitors to fully engage with the visual arts through lectures, performances, tours, and classes.

Gibbes Museum Distinguished Lecture Series, 2015

Photo by MCG Photography

Jena Clem, Special Events Manager

–Have the museum booked with private events every weekend when we reopen.

–Grow our staff to support the increased programming and events we’ll be offering.

–Be featured as the number one event venue in Charleston, South Carolina/Southeast.

Laurie Clark Wedding photo cred: Whimsey Photography

Photo by Whimsey Photography

Zinnia Willits, Director of Collections Administration

–Execute safe return of 10,000 pieces of art from off-site storage locations to the renovated Museum spaces.

–Harmoniously work with Museum staff and contract crews to unpack the art collection and reinstall in new galleries in an extremely tight time frame.

–Remain calm, cool and collected over the next few months in order to successfully manage all that needs to be managed to reopen of the Gibbes! Eat fewer Tic Tacs to manage stress.

–Celebrate our beautiful new spaces and improved access to the collections in a BIG way once the Museum reopens with interactive, unique behind-the-scenes tours and programs.

–Share the Gibbes success with museum colleagues across the state and the region through continued, active involvement and leadership in professional museum organizations.

Gibbes Collection on the move

Next »