Music Feature

Woodmere Art Museum: More Than Just Art

by Jasmine Walker
Woodmere Art Museum opens its doors to public schools in and around Philly to expand the impact of art and music to underserved children.
ARtists at Work paul dusold
Woodmere Art Museum is located about thirteen miles outside of Philadelphia in Chestnut Hill, but that distance doesn’t stop them from lending their time and space to city schools.

1,2,Rhythm and Blue is a two part series linking music and art in a seven week program that takes place in the school and then inside Woodmere’s walls. Students tour the art galleries, and later host an artist in their classroom where they are taught the fundamentals of art and painting to create their own masterpieces. The student’s work created with that artist is exhibited in the Helen Milliard Children's Gallery during a summer exhibition. In the same 1,2,Rhythm and Blue program, a musician visits the classroom and composes a piece to perform during a school-wide assembly where an artist works alongside to create and display his or her work on stage during the performance.

I spoke with The Robert McNeil Jr., Curator of Education, Pam Birmingham, about the impact of Woodmere Art Museum’s public school programs on students in Philadelphia and she said, “These programs offer art and music appreciation to children who may lack it within their schools. It is a celebration and a time to get away from the city environment. The children are excited to be in our historic mansion and take back amazing stories to their schools and families.”

One of the oldest running school programs at Woodmere is Artist at Work, in its 15th year, featuring various artists of different genres using the gallery as his or her studios while students watch and at times, become a part of the pieces. The students get a first-hand look at how these painters implement his or her artistic process.

This museum also offers classes that give children a creative outlet to do things like painting landscapes or building musical instruments. The staff and volunteers at Woodmere Art Museum devote much of their time and resources to impart more than just art appreciation but also workshops and a plethora of activities for children visiting on school trips or with their families. For more information visit http://www.woodmereartmuseum.org/

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