Thursday, April 14, 2011

Museum Offers Free Art Program to Schools

We frequently hear from educators that the need for regional art and culture education resources is immense. To address that need this year, the Museum welcomed more than 300 Central Oregon elementary school students, mostly from Title I schools, for a unique chance to explore art and culture and be inspired by rare Native American artifacts.

The innovative, grant-funded Art Through Ancestry School Program was free to schools and integrated elements of the Art Through Ancestry exhibit, created by the Museum. In the exhibit, three Native American artists connected the past to the present by using the inspiration of ancestral artifacts to create contemporary art.

The students took their art home, showed their parents what’s important to them, and told what they saw and did here. This opened the door for these students, including some of Native American heritage, to discuss what is important to their culture.

That alone is gratifying, but we also received exuberant declarations of gratitude from the students. Some of the students included drawings too. (One, above, is of a pot that one student made in the class.)

Teachers, local artists, arts advocates, and the Bend/La Pine school district have told us that providing opportunities such as this to view the Museum’s collection, learn about the artifacts and art at the Museum, and integrate arts education into the Museum’s programs is a high priority.

We are currently pursuing more grant funding so that we can bring it back next year.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Look Out! Volcano!

Ever tried building an indoor volcano? Not the mini, tabletop ones. We’re talking about one you can walk through and touch all kinds of weird volcanic rocks and soil, and emerge to see footage of Mount St. Helens erupting, then create a caldera (a crater-like volcanic collapse), and make magma rise at the touch of a button.

That’s what we’re up to now – speedily finishing the Volcano Country exhibit that opens Saturday. You’ll be awed by its magma-nificence.

But seriously, you will be amazed to see how, in 10 days, we have transformed the gallery where our live Butterflies exhibit had been. Gone are several tons of dirt, hundreds of plants and watering systems.

As you read this, our exhibits team is making Volcano Country all come together. David Werhane, exhibit preparator, is scaling up and down huge ladders. Glen Marcusen, exhibit design team lead, is waving his arms and scratching his head. Fabric designer Kimry Jelen is hunched over a sewing machine, making the towering, billowing volcano.

It’s all to put Oregon’s explosive geology at your fingertips, with hands-on ways to discover our area's fiery natural history. Come and explore it this weekend!

Presented by Bend Research with support from BendTel, Vernier Software & Technology. In coordination with Central Oregon Community College, Oregon Historical Society and Oregon Paleolands Institute.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fools, everyone!

To those of you who didn't notice our April Fool's disclaimer on our previous snake post, we apologize. We certainly did not wish to alarm anyone with our attempt at some April first humor. We've deleted the post so there will be no further concerns.