The Amarillo Museum of Art offers several outreach programs to schools within the Texas Panhandle.
As our Mission states, “The Amarillo Museum of Art is dedicated to enriching the lives of the diverse people of the Texas Panhandle area, bringing them together for the experience of art through exhibitions, education, and collections.”
Research shows that the study of the arts is linked to greater academic achievement, social and emotional development, as well as civic engagement. Involvement in the arts has also pointed to greater proficiency in math, reading, verbal skills, critical thinking and cultural understanding. Greater cultural understanding through the lens of visual art is the aim of the Amarillo Museum of Art’s ARTifact Case outreach program. This “museum without walls” experience involves specially designed traveling suitcases filled with art and artifacts that AMoA staff brings directly to students and teachers. Students can discuss, handle and examine these art works and artifacts with experienced museum staff – right in their own classrooms.
AMoA staff works with educators and program directors to provide a 30 minute hands-on discussion session, followed by a 30 minute art activity designed to enhance greater understanding of the group’s discussion and the overall program content.
The ARTifact Case outreach program is currently offered as a school education program through Window on a Wider World (WOWW.) Teacher feedback from all WOWW site visits confirmed that teachers are less able to take field trips and are truly looking for programs that come to their campus.
Museum staff conducting ARTifact Case outreach programs have shared that the program opens students’ eyes to different cultures in a way that makes the students feel special, by encouraging dialogue about the artifacts brought to the classroom, handling the special artifacts themselves, as well as the outlet of personal expression through the hands-on art activity.
Another option, if you are interested in incorporating ARTifact Case material into your classroom for an extended time, is to check out a case on a weekly basis. Core Curriculum ties and TEKS connections are provided to educators with each ARTifact Case program. Each case contains complete case inventory and descriptions of each item, presentation highlights, lesson plans, art activity samples, and step-by-step instructions with links to sources for supplies.
Optional pre and post Museum tours are also encouraged for those programs that represent particular collections strengths at the Museum.
The following ARTifact Cases are currently offered from AMoA to enhance student learning about world cultures:
Art of Ancient Egypt | The Myths and Magic: Explore the land of pyramids, how and why the pyramids were built, what a sarcophagus is and how it was made, the symbolism behind images of humans and animals, and the art of hieroglyphics. As a part of the hands-on activity, students will each create an ornamental scarab beetle necklace.
Native American Art | The Legends and the Land: Your class will explore the great cultural diversity of the American Indians, from the Acoma Pueblo potters of western New Mexico to the stone carvings of the Inuit people of Alaska and Canada. Art is an integral part of their culture, with many contemporary artists still being trained by their family and community. Students will each have the opportunity to decorate their own acoma clay pot in traditional Native American designs.
Art of Mexico | Mayan to Modern: Students learn about the ancient and modern art from our immediate neighbor, Mexico. Artifacts like masks and sculptures will teach your students about the ancient tribes such as the Mayans and the Aztecs. Modern artifacts such as nichos and retablos will be used to teach students about Mexican folk art and its popularity worldwide. Students will be making their own nichos using images of iconic American people, to help them understand the relationship between a culture of people and those who inspire them.
The Art of Japan | A World of Art, A World Apart: Students begin their journey in the early Edo Period and travel through the marvelous land of the Samurai. Your class will be exposed to the myths, beliefs, and cultural practices, including the Japanese tea ceremony and the world of multi color woodblock prints that depict popular subjects of the day. Students will create an ornament through the ancient art of Japanese marbling.
The Art of India & Southeast Asia | The Dynamic and Divine: India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations, and is rich with a variety of customs and broad range of beliefs. Explore the symbols and philosophies behind Hindu, Jain and Buddhist sculptures, along with the myths and stories that surround these works of art. From dancing Shiva and elephant sculptures, to a silk sari and bindi jewels, students take a tactile journey through this ARTifact case. For the hands-on portion of this case, students will create their own vibrant Rangoli sand painting.
Through the generosity of of Dr. and Mrs. William T. Price, AMoA has acquired a considerable amount of art from India and Southeast Asia; therefore, recommended to be paired with a tour of AMoA’s Asian Art Collection.
Another option that brings AMoA staff into your classroom are AMoA Art Experiences. These programs are specially designed to discuss monumental movements in art history. Much like the ARTifact Case experience, our education staff will visit your school and provide a presentation followed by an immersive creative project designed to reflect the art and culture highlighted in the lecture.
Impressionism | The Science of Light and Color: Students will learn about the history of Impressionism through the 17th and 18th centuries. Spontaneous and bold, the artists of the Impressionist movement were considered the rebels of their time. They studied light, color, and optics to to improve their ability to capture a “moment in time” with paint. During the lecture, your class will discover the science and techniques behind this Impressionist style of painting, and then create original works of art for each student to take home.
Modern Art | A 20th Century Movement: We’ll talk about the history and drama of the Modern Art movement in the early 20th century. Influential in the creation of art today, Modern Art is one of the most difficult forms of art to understand. Your class will journey through the social, political, and emotional drive behind the art, as well as the many creative techniques. Then, students will each complete an individual work of art to keep.
“Because works of art give form to fundamental beliefs and feelings they serve as conduits for culture; they are, in effect, culture carriers.”
Ronald H. Silverman, Ed.D.,
Professor Emeritus of Art, California State University