Sharing a Love of Art History with the Next Generation
My name is Katie Gephart, and this summer I interned in the museum’s Education and Outreach department. In the fall, I’ll start my senior year at Washington and Lee University where I am majoring in art history and museum studies. My university professors continue to encourage my love of art history, and now—through my internship—I’ve had the opportunity to teach other students about art. My primary responsibility was assisting with the Summer Art Camp. Over the summer, I worked with elementary school students to expand the scope of their art awareness by exposing them to new media, techniques, and sources of inspiration within the Gibbes Museum. The summer camp themes included In the Forest, Go Global, and ArtStory, and each week we created special projects that both reflected these themes and introduced the campers to important artists and artistic traditions. Sharing art history with the children and helping them translate the concepts and ideas into their own work was immeasurably rewarding.
Once a week, the campers went into the galleries to explore the museum’s collection and incorporated what they saw into their art projects. Last week, ArtStory focused on an artist’s ability to tell stories without words, using only form, line, and color. We looked at the large oil painting, April: (The Green Gown) by Childe Hassam—one of my favorite paintings in the collection—and asked how the woman’s story might be different if she wore a red gown instead. The group really seemed to connect to this idea and shared how different colors make them feel. Watching the kids process this important principle of art theory and apply it to their own art work was so exciting for me to observe. The Gibbes offers its campers such a special opportunity by sharing the collection, and I’ve been so grateful to share my knowledge of art with the kids and see how their techniques improve and enthusiasm for art grows.
—Katie Gephardt, summer intern, Education and Outreach Department, Gibbes Museum of Art