Remember Your First Art Opening?

A student artwork on view at the US Department of Education as part of Museums: pARTners in Learning. Students Kiara Castellon, Ashley Low, Brenda Merlos, and Clarissa Miranda of Takoma Education Campus, DCPS, collaborated on this watercolor and ink drawing, "Ben’s Chili Bowl-Ward 1." Photo: James R. Brantley

A student artwork on view at the US Department of Education as part of Museums: pARTners in Learning. Students Kiara Castellon, Ashley Low, Brenda Merlos, and Clarissa Miranda of Takoma Education Campus, DCPS, collaborated on this watercolor and ink drawing, "Ben’s Chili Bowl-Ward 1." Photo: James R. Brantley

I’ve spent my internship working on the Association of Art Museum Director’s project Museums: pARTners in Learning, an exhibition of student artwork created through museum-school partnerships. The exhibition is now open at the U.S. Department of Education, and we participated in an opening celebration Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been busy planning, coordinating, emailing, and writing all semester. While this work and exhibition opened my eyes to the incredible range of partnerships between museums and schools, I hadn’t thought about what the exhibition meant to the students until Tuesday. I had forgotten the thrill of being a student artist and having your work exhibited somewhere important. Seeing how excited and proud the student artists were reminded me how I felt as an elementary, middle, or high school student exhibiting my work. While I was never lucky enough to show artwork at the U.S. Department of Education, I remember being so proud to have my third grade tropical bird painting exhibited at the All County Art Exhibit in the Annapolis Mall and my high school artwork included in ArtQuest, Southern High School’s incredible program led by Michael Bell. These events can feel like all business for the adults organizing them, but it’s refreshing to remember the thrill of your first exhibition and share not only the students’ excitement, but also the thrill education leaders gain from museum-school partnerships.

Ashley Meadows, Education Intern

Students cut a ribbon to launch their exhibition on Tuesday, May 15. Photo: US Department of Education's photostream, Flickr.com

Students cut a ribbon to launch their exhibition on Tuesday, May 15. Photo: US Department of Education's photostream, Flickr.com

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