WMA Education Director Presents at AAEA Conference

Brook McGinnis, Education Director at the Wiregrass Museum of Art, recently presented at the Alabama Art Education Association Conference in Mobile, providing instruction and inspiration for early education (preK-2nd grade) educators in her seminar, “Creating art is LIT! Igniting LITeracy skills through talking about and making art!”

McGinnis explained how WMA has reimagined their school tour program to address the Alabama Literacy Act, by learning how to use content framing questions when looking at art and learning different strategies to help boost literacy skills when making art. 

Seminar participants explored WMA’s Fall Docent Guide, a tool for training volunteer docents how to talk about art in a way that can improve reading comprehension skills. Then, the class discussed works in the museum’s Permanent Collection by Carolyn Sherer and Randy Gachet, and did a blind contour line drawing activity. Participants also learned new skills by working through WMA’s K-2 Literacy tour activity, Paper Story Quilts, illustrating favorite moments from the book “Never Let a Unicorn Scribble” by Diane Alber.

“Art teachers are isolated on their own little islands as they are typically the only one in their subject area at their schools. As such, the work life of an art teacher can be very lonely. This conference reminded us that we are not alone! We have hundreds of brilliant colleagues across the state who are willing to share their successes (and a few challenges) with their peers so that we can all learn and grow together. The sense of community in this particular organization is almost overwhelming. I have never before been around such a welcoming and supportive group. This is my second time attending and presenting at the Alabama Art Education Association Conference and both times I have come away feeling refreshed and renewed and with a whole new set of ideas to bring into my classroom at WMA,” said Brook McGinnis.

For more information on becoming a docent or volunteer, visit here on WMA’s website.

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

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Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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