As LACMA’s curatorial and exhibition programming continues to expand and connect the dialogue between art and film, the museum’s education and public programming works in tandem to offer opportunities for the public to create connections between art and film in their own vision.
The educational component of Art+Film is critical to the mission of the initiative. These programs, sponsored by OneWest Bank, recognize the power of media today and the importance of visual literacy in an age when moving images dominate. The Art+Film Education Initiative LACMA offers both students and teachers hands-on opportunities to use technology for personal expression. Informed by the works of art in the galleries, the offerings—such as Frame x Frame, Through Your Lens, and the Art+Film Teacher Institute—help cultivate media literacy through both looking, analyzing, and making.
Funding for art classes and after-school activities have been dramatically cut in Los Angeles. LACMA is an important resource in Los Angeles for art education and hands-on learning. In Frame x Frame: Reimagining the Everyday, teaching artists lead seventh-grade students on a tour of the museum’s galleries. This exploration provides insight into how artists see ordinary objects in a new light. Students are then given an opportunity to reconsider everyday objects from their own lives by exploring the traditional art of drawing and activating it with creative technology.
In Through Your Lens, an after-school program that takes place at school sites, middle-school students can explore the practices and strategies used by artists and filmmakers to create works of art. The eight-week-long course provides students with an opportunity to create experimental films inspired by works of art in LACMA’s collection using what they’ve learned throughout the course. In the process, students develop their awareness of the power of the moving image.
For teachers, the Art+Film Teacher Institute advances interdisciplinary connections between visual art, media literacy, and the core curriculum. Teams work together to create a short film inspired by a work of art from LACMA’s collection. The production process explores the parallels between reading, writing, and filmmaking, emphasizing independent and collaborative art making.
The education department’s outreach expands beyond the boundaries of LACMA’s campus. One example of this is the LACMA9 Art+Film Lab, which launched in the city of Redlands in June 2013 with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Through this initiative, LACMA brings to nine cities throughout Southern California free film screenings and hands-on workshops. The lab, designed by artist Jorge Pardo, continues to travel to local cities through September 2014. LACMA9 is currently on hiatus, but returns in January, when it will set up shop at East Los Angeles County in Monterey Park. Through LACMA9, the museum is able to serve the larger Southern California community through film and workshops that harness the creative spirit.
The Art+Film initiative will continue to evolve through education and public programs at LACMA. From film series to workshops to community-outreach events, LACMA is fully committed to highlighting importance of creating a dialogue between works of art and the moving image.
Linda Theung, editor