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Monday, November 23, 2015

Exhibit Update - Headed to the Finish Line

For the first time earlier this week our class was able to visit the gallery where the exhibit about masks and Spirit Boards from Papua New Guinea will be displayed. It was an incredible moment, to stand there and visualize exactly what we want our final display to look like. 

Several months ago, on our first day of class, we were told that our semester long project would be to design an exhibit around a selection of artifacts that were housed in the Regis College Library. We knew nothing about them except that they were from Papua New Guinea. Weeks of research followed, trying to identify what our objects were, who made them, and what they were used for. Now, after so much work, we have begun to finalize and edit our exhibit labels, put together our brochure, and design our exhibit. 

This week we ran around from detail to detail, trying to perfect our project. We now know what our exhibit will look like, what it will teach, and what sort of takeaway we want our audience to have. The planning stage is starting to come to a close, as we put the final touches on our design. Soon we will be ready for the installation stage, and then eventually for public viewing. Watching the exhibit pieced together from a vague idea to a solid game plan has been an incredible experience. 

-Ashley Campbell, Museum Studies Practicum

Monday, November 9, 2015

Have you ever? (A Museum Studies Practicum Update)

Have you ever sat in front of your computer screen and just could not come up with a single idea for a project? Well, this is the exact feeling that I received this week in class while trying to make a brochure that would be visually appealing for the public to see. In the Museum Studies Practicum class here at Regis College we have just began the very beginning stages of putting together a museum brochure for our exhibit about the Papua New Guinea Masks and Spirit boards that we have here on campus in our library.

Brochures are very important to the museum/exhibit experience because it is like a brief, detailed advertisement of what the viewer will be coming to see when they actually come to the exhibit. This is one place, other than a heft exhibit catalog, where museum staff have the opportunity to create something tangible for viewers concerning the exhibit. As a class, we are trying to create a brochure that will stand out, and be different from the typical standard museum brochure that people usually see, maybe don’t read, or even throw away. We as a class are trying to create something that makes a statement within itself, that will make those yearn for more than just the brochure but actually want to come to the exhibit once it is up and running.

Have you ever saw a museum brochure and said to yourself; that you just have to go to that exhibit because of the intense experience you had with the brochure? Well I have. One museum brochure that stood out to me was from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC). The brochure had an image of a woman sitting in an exhibit room, and she was sitting and looking at a painting that was right in front of her. What stood out to me was the painting that the woman was looking at, and it made me feel like I should be sitting there next to her admiring the painting with her. This is what we are aiming for as a class, to get our brochure to stand out and make the viewer have their own experience with the brochure so that they will then attend our exhibition and fulfill their expectations of the exhibit, and allow them to take a piece of that exhibit experience away with them when they leave. The goal the museum studies practicum class is trying to achieve is to have our viewers experience this “has you ever moment”. That would ideal! 

by: Mia-Michelle Russell, graduate student, Heritage Studies Program

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meanings of Masks – Event Follow-up

On Monday, October 26, our Museum Studies Practicum class hosted our event called the Meaning of Masks that ran from 4:00-6:00pm in the Library. Each student in our class had brought posters that spoke about topics that related to the meaning of masks. The Humanities Department also joined us in contributing to this event in bringing their own posters. Dr. Ortiz and her class made an altar representing the Mexican festival called Day of the Dead or Dia de los muertos. The posters ranged from different topics such as comparing the use of masks today with the use of masks in Papua New Guinea, relating masks with Halloween and its history behind wearing costumes that day, comparing Papua New Guinea masks to ancient past masks, and unmasking the myths of AIDS. We also had a snack station with plenty of candy and a mask making station where anyone was free to make their own masks. 
Many visitors dropped by to our event such as professors, students, and even the Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Everyone enjoyed themselves where they learned about the various topics based on this subject of masks and its different meanings. Later in the event, we also had the pleasure to have some of the children from the Children’s Center come by and decorate their own masks. Not only did the children enjoy decorating their own masks but many students and adults also joined them in decorating their own. The event was a success and there was a lot of excellent feedback. Meanwhile, this week we will continue in building up the exhibit and we will now be focusing on the brochures and the layout of the exhibit. 

 -Susana Ortega, Museum Studies Practicum

Friday, October 23, 2015

Museum Studies Practicum Course - Some Updates on our Progress

        The Museum Studies Practicum class has been busy preparing for the upcoming exhibit about Papua New Guinea, but our class is still in the beginning stages. The exhibition that we are planning involves masks and spirit boards from Papua New Guinea that were donated by Vera Laska and her husband, Adam James Laska. Vera Laska used to be a professor of History here at Regis. The class has been working hard on our labels. Besides the labels, the class also  just finished working on a grant that would fund an educational program around the exhibit in the spring semester, and now we are just waiting to see if it has been approved or not.  
We also just recently went to visit the Children’s Center here at Regis. The class helped the children build their masks with a lot of glitter glue and feathers. It was fun at the Children’s Center to see how each child made his or her mask. There were some children who went crazy and put every kind of material on the mask...and then there were some children who were very, very careful with the mask. Whatever the method, the children knew exactly what material they wanted and where they wanted to put it!
People can see the children’s masks and also build their own masks at the Meaning of Masks event this Monday on October 26 from 4:00-6:00pm in the Library. Besides seeing the children’s masks, people can see poster boards that our class is working hard on, while the Humanities Department, and others from the Regis community will also be contributing to the event. We hope you will join us!
-Heather Ruano, Museum Studies Practicum