Museum Reaches Out

 

By Alexandra Desaulniers '11
Photography by Robert P. Hernandez
 

Jazz in the Museum
The Mark Macksoud Jazz Quartet in the Jetté Galleries
As the Colby College Museum of Art celebrates its 50th anniversary, museum administrators are not just looking inward, but reaching out. “We want the museum to be more than a place for college students to go for art class,” said Lauren Lessing, the Mirken Curator of Education. “We want it to be more than an art museum.”

With Carolyn Muzzy Museum Director Sharon Corwin, Lessing is working to expand the museum’s campus and community outreach initiatives. This fall 48 courses in various disciplines used exhibits and artwork in the Colby collection. These ranged from the more obvious art courses that use the museum regularly to English and science courses exploring specific pieces and collections.

Colby students also serve as docents and educators for the community. Younger children visiting the museum or participating in Lively Spaces (a summer dance and theater workshop) look up to the older students, Lessing said.

Last year more than 3,750 area students visited the museum, three times as many as three years ago.

For adults the museum offers cell phone tours and Noontime Art Talks. Also new this year, the museum keeps its doors open late for a series of First Thursdays. In October the museum was packed for a tribute to legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham. “We want the museum to be a social space,” Lessing said, “a place to walk through to enjoy the art, but also a place to go study or spend an hour with friends.”
 
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