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Dickinson's Trout Gallery Offers Virtual Opportunities

Trout Gallery Virtual Visit

Virtual gallery visits integrate art into classroom learning

by Shayyan Malik '21

Dickinson's Trout Gallery is inviting students for virtual gallery visits, integrating the works of artists like Horace Pippin and Kara Walker into the classroom learning experience. Conducted with the help of professors from various departments, these visits provide students with an opportunity to engage with the works in the gallery during a remote semester.

“In addition to art & art history, professors in American studies, Africana studies and several First-Year Seminars are currently set to bring classes to our fall virtual exhibitions, Horace Pippin: Racism and War and Tracing Slavery: Moses Williams and Kara Walker,” says Heather Flaherty, curator of education at the Trout Gallery. “In addition, we are working with the Carlisle Area School District to supply both virtual tour visits and a suite of educational mini-videos on the two shows so that their teachers can use this material in their classes throughout the year.”

Students participating in these visits have gained a new outlook on experiencing art online. And despite being virtual, the visits are curated with an emphasis on interaction and engagement.

“We offer many 'out of the vault' virtual classes for Dickinson students as well," says Flaherty. "These classes focus on some of the 10,000 objects in gallery's permanent collection, which we examine through images in a PowerPoint virtual environment. This is a great way for faculty to enhance their online content with rich visuals, and these programs allow students to explore interdisciplinary approaches to topics across the curriculum."

These visits play an important role in Dickinson's education by allowing students from all majors to experience and appreciate art by a diverse set of influential artists while allowing them to continue to connect with Dickinson's rich academic offerings.

"Students meet Trout staff, learn about the collections, which are a resource to them throughout their Dickinson careers, and explore course material through the lens of visual culture,” says Flaherty, noting that students are also provided with the opportunity of learning more about the Trout itself. “As part of Trout virtual visits, we let students know about the many student engagement opportunities the gallery offers students, including paid positions, a COVID-student chat series and special events.”

The Trout Gallery plans to continue offering virtual visits in the next year and opening these visits up to younger students.

“In December we will go live with virtual visits and a teaching website for K-12 audiences who are interested in our exhibitions on Horace Pippin and Kara Walker/Moses Williams," says Flaherty. "We have both an events series and an art-chat series that are open to the public and feature works in our permanent collection as well as current exhibitions. In addition, we've created a virtual museum site, Trout From Home, that allows the public to visit a virtual version of the Trout while our doors are physically closed.” 

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Published October 13, 2020