NC Museum of Art helping Davie High students learn craft

Published 1:52 pm Thursday, March 19, 2015

Davie County High School art students are involved in a new educational program designed by the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh.

In November, visual arts teacher, Lauren Rieth, was one of 18 art teachers chosen in the state to participate in a process-oriented study of art-making called, “Artists in Process.”

Exactly how do artists go about making art?

Rieth’s intermediate visual arts students enrolled in the museum course and have been combined with high schools in Onslow and Chatham counties to form one large interactive art class.

“This is a relatively new and refreshing concept called blended classroom,” Reith said.

The students have been studying work from the NC Museum of Art collection. The museum interviewed NC artists about their creative process and the origins of artistic inspiration. The taped interviews were shared with students and included words of advice directed to the students.

In turn, students have been posting reactions to the artists and the artwork on a shared website with Chatham and Onslow. Once a week, students hit the computer lab to upload photos of their art projects, in process, and look at the responses of students from around the state. The students used social media to appreciate, comment on, and ask questions about each other’s work.

On March 13, the art class hopped on a bus for the 2.5 hour trip to Raleigh for a tour of the art museum with their fellow classmates from Chatham and Onslow counties.

The near 60 art students took some time to pair up with each other and find out how the others enjoyed the course.

“It was very exciting to see the openness with which the students embraced the social experience. The students then broke off into small groups to curate their own art show using the same concepts they used in their personal work: identity, storytelling, or place. The museum allowed the students to photograph the collection and comment on the artwork using a shared social website,” Reith said

“I have never seen students so connected to the work during an art museum visit!. This course has been instrumental in bringing a sophisticated structure to my student-led curriculum.

This type of teaching allows me to get out of the way without allowing the students to get lost. When I see what the students do on their own, I’m always glad I didn’t interfere, except to guide,” Reith said.