The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art has two new publications.
Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Ōyama documents Japanese Italian artist Enrico Isamu Ōyama’s first museum exhibition in the U.S. and related residency at the Beach Museum of Art. With texts in both English and Japanese, the book analyzes Ōyama’s innovative development of Quick Turn Structure (QTS) as an abstract visual language expressing the energy and aesthetic of the metropolis, to which city dwellers from different countries and cultures can relate. The volume also outlines the ways in which the project engaged with different community groups and produced site-specific art through collaboration, including the first outdoor contemporary art mural in Manhattan, Kansas. 140 pages with color illustrations.
John Steuart Curry: The Cowboy Within is the exhibition catalogue for the museum’s current exhibition exploring Regionalist John Steuart Curry’s depictions of the American West. The West—as a romantic environment of the past and a real locale for exploration and respite—played an important role in shaping the Kansas native and his art. This 80-page volume includes an essay by Curator Elizabeth Seaton and exhibition collaborator Frank N. Owings Jr., as well as an introduction by William H. Truettner, Smithsonian American Art Museum emeritus curator and author of The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier (1991).
Copies of both catalogues are available for $25 in the museum’s gift shop on the first floor of the museum. Find more details of the books:
The Beach Museum of Art Education Department shared their work at multiple conferences this fall. Associate Curator of Education Kathrine Walker Schlageck presented a paper entitled “The Benefits of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for Special Audiences” at the International Visual Literacy Association Conference in Lueven, Belgium on October 18th. The talk covered the museum’s work with children on the Autism Spectrum, memory support, and English language learners and the use of VTS for facilitating discussions about difficult issues.
Schlageck and Education Specialist Kim Richards presented “The Art of Sustainability,” at the Kansas Museums Association’s 50th Annual Meeting in Lindsborg, Kansas on November 8, highlighting several exhibitions and programs that address environmental issues and sustainable practices.
In addition, Schlageck and Richards spent two days in October training docents from Wichita Art Museum and the Ulrich Museum at Wichita State University in Visual Thinking Strategies.
Visual Thinking Strategies is an open-ended facilitated discussion using works of art to develop evidence based reasoning, critical thinking, and communication skills.
Museum director Linda Duke led a Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) workshop at the EPSCoR Annual Wheat Symposium on May 30, 2019. Held at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, the symposium brought together the lead collaborators in a special research project. Funded by a $4 million dollar NSF grant, the project aims to boost crop yields and improve in-field management with the help of science and technology. The multidisciplinary, multi-institution research team is being led by Stephen Welch, professor of agronomy at K-State, in partnership with Phillip Alderman from OSU and Franklin Fondjo-Fotou of Langston University. Welch approached Duke about being a co-Principal Investigator on the venture and contributing VTS workshops to the grant’s Workforce Development activities, especially aimed at graduate students on the project. Her experience with using VTS in higher education settings is being tapped to help build participants’ skills in observation, evidence-based reasoning, and communication.
The VTS approach involves group discussions of carefully chosen images. Led by a facilitator, the group poses and considers varied theories and interpretations. This dialogue encourages brainstorming and team-building and produces valuable insights applicable to many fields. Symposium participants from all three universities had positive things to say about the experience. Visual Thinking Strategies will be an ongoing part of the NSF project as contributors strive to develop meaningful ways to communicate what they see and understand.