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

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