Education – The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens To engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education. Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:47:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Arts4All Recap Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:47:54 +0000 By Museum Educator Danielle Garcia

Photo by Michael LeGrand

As a new Museum Educator on the team, it was my first time participating in the Arts4All Festival. I was constantly told that even with all our preparation, nothing could truly prepare me for the Festival until I experienced it for myself. This year the Festival ran from April 30 to May 3, and we worked with nearly 1,000 volunteers to serve approximately 1,400 students and 600 teachers from the greater Jacksonville area.

Photo by Michael LeGrand

Once the students arrived at the Museum, they visited different Art Stops throughout the galleries, gardens, and Art Connections, the interactive center. They explored many different art forms, from painting, working with clay, and creating paper collages to dancing, playing with drums, and creating digital masterpieces. “All of the Art Stops made them feel successful,” says Gina M., a teacher at Ridgeview Elementary, commenting on the Festival programming, “My students need many opportunities to interact with others… The Arts4All Festival gave them that opportunity in a highly motivating way.”

Photo by Michael LeGrand

With the help of so many wonderful volunteers, we finished the week with flying colors! Jose P., one of the volunteers, reflected on his experience and shared, “I really enjoy seeing the kids so excited and engaged in their art projects. I believe that the experience helps them grow socially, artistically, and personally. I hope to contribute smiles, encouragement, and positivity for the kids and to assist staff in making the Festival successful.”

Photo by Michael LeGrand

In the months leading up to the Festival, I went on numerous visits to different schools through the Museum Access for Kids, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind’s Blind Ambition Art Club, and Arts4All outreach programs. To get them excited about their field trip to the Museum, we created nametags with fun, multi-colored yarn and markers. Seeing all of their smiling faces again at the Museum, wearing the nametags we designed together, greeting me with “Hey, I remember you! You visited us!” and giving me big group hugs was worth every effort to put on this amazing experience for them that I know they’ll remember for a long time.

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New Name, Same Incredible Program! Tue, 09 Apr 2019 12:45:26 +0000 Written by Museum Educator Mary McBride

Arts4All, formerly the VSA Festival, originally launched in 1995. The Museum’s annual festival, underwent a name change this year to align with Florida’s leading arts access organization, Arts4All Florida, formerly VSA of Florida. Developed in alignment with the guiding principles of VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disability, part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Cummer Museum’s Arts4All Festival has become a national model, receiving consistent local and national recognition in its field.

The annual Arts4All Festival at the Museum, presented by Citi, invites students with different abilities from the greater Jacksonville area to visit the Museum to experience art through all of their senses. Over the course of four days, nearly 1,600 children and 700 teachers and chaperones from three counties will visit the Museum to experience art-making, movement, and music throughout the campus. In addition to Museum staff, nearly 1,200 volunteers will fill the Museum to lead groups through the Museum and provide one-on-one interactions with students.

In the galleries, gardens, and studios, students are able to express themselves creatively through hands-on art-making, music, and movement, themes that have been at the heart of the Festival since it began. Unique to the Cummer Museum, art-making activities are not just for the studios, but take place directly in the galleries surrounded by original works of art, as well as the Museum’s historic gardens. Musical storyteller Ajamu Mutima and multi-instrumentalist Arvid Smith use music as a powerful tool to engage and inspire children at the Festival. They create unique interactive musical experiences, inviting visiting students to get involved in the performance by dancing, clapping, singing, and trying out the instruments. Students are also given time to independently explore the Museum’s interactive area, where they can create art, handle art reproductions, dance, and play at their own pace.

The event allows each student to participate in the creative process and to demonstrate their own artistic abilities. Teachers from last year’s Festival said:

“This experience was good for student self-esteem. When they saw some of the projects, their first reaction was, ‘I can’t do that.’ But as they started to work and realized that there was no wrong way to do it, they really enjoyed the activities. They were so proud of their work. The activities help establish a sense of accomplishment, which definitely translates into learning in all areas.”

“Some of our students have never been to the museum. Having the opportunity to expose children to this incredible art, cultural, social experience is great for their self-esteem. The museum staff and volunteers do an incredible job of making the students feel successful, special, and acknowledged. They are so encouraging and supportive of each student’s effort. This has such a positive impact on the student’s self-esteem.”

“My students truly enjoyed their experience at the Festival. They loved the interactive, hands-on activities. I believe it helped them with their knowledge of what they can do on their own as well as brought out the creativity in them.”

The 24th annual Arts4All Festival at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens will take place Tuesday, April 30 through Friday, May 3, 2019. If you are interested in supporting the program, please contact Hannah Oberholtzer at 904.899.6028. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens would not be the vibrant civic and cultural resource it is without the philanthropic support of our community. It is only through this generosity that the Museum is able to fulfill its mission to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education.

The 2019 Arts4All Festival at the Cummer Museum is presented by:

Festival Champions:
Chartrand Family Fund
DuBow Family Foundation
Next Generation Foundation
Duval Motor Company
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Red Coat Grant – The PLAYERS Championship
SABEL Foundation

Friends of the Festival:
Acentria Insurance
Ally Financial
Arts4All Florida
Coordinated Benefits Group
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Director’s Circle at the Cummer Museum
Duval County Public Schools
Pam and Jake Ingram

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:57:04 +0000

Thanks to the support of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, JAX Chamber, JEA, and United Way of Northeast Florida, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens was able to provide high quality art experiences to a diverse cross-section of the community for free. The day included live music, an Ecumenical Prayer for Peace with local faith leaders and the FSCJ Chorale organized by OneJax, and pop-up art-making activities at the Cummer Museum. The Museum also hosted an art-making activity at the Ritz Theatre and Museum for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation’s MLK Holiday Celebration. Free trolley service was available between the two museums, making both experiences accessible to the community. The Museum welcomed 1,131 visitors to its campus, many of whom were visiting for the first time, and more than 140 visitors at its booth at the Ritz Theatre and Museum.

“Today was our very first visit to the Museum and it was absolutely wonderful. The property on the river is breathtaking, the Museum staff is super friendly, the ‘Exploring with Kids’ guide made for an interactive experience, and there were lots of fun, hands-on activities for the children to enjoy. Thank you so much for opening the Museum’s doors on Martin Luther King Day so we could celebrate by enjoying one of Jacksonville’s gems.” – Dorsett & Nevin Families

Visitors used watercolor resist methods to create works of art depicting what peace means to them. More than 450 works of art were made by members of the greater Jacksonville community, and some have been combined to form Art Peace – a collective message of unity, from and for the community. The work is now on display in the Cummer Café. Drop by the Museum to see the installation in person!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Cummer Museum Wed, 16 Jan 2019 20:02:50 +0000

The Cummer Museum will hold a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event on Monday, January 21, 2019. The event features art engagement and special commemorations from 12 to 6 p.m. with free admission for all. Free admission is made possible through grants and sponsorships from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, JAX Chamber, JEA, and the United Way of Northeast Florida.

Jacksonville artist MJbaker will perform at the Museum on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Special programs include art-making activities, live music by MJbaker, and trolley transportation between the Cummer Museum and the Ritz Theatre and Museum (noon to 5 p.m.). An Ecumenical Prayer for Peace organized by OneJax will be held at 3 p.m. in the gardens. The Cummer Café will be open from noon to 5 p.m., and reservations are suggested.

Visitors will also help create a special collaborative “Art Peace” to be shown in the Cummer Museum. Participants will use watercolor resist and paper folding techniques to create quilt squares and paper chains with messages of peace and unity. Visitor artwork will be combined to create a larger display. Guests can participate in this collaborative art-making project at both the Cummer Museum and the Ritz Theatre and Museum.

“It is part of our commitment to our community to provide opportunities for engagement and reflection on this important day,” said the Cummer Museum’s George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adam Levine. “The Cummer Museum is committed to being an inclusive arts and culture institution, and we plan to continue to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of peace beyond this single day.”

Photo by Debra Haskin

While at the Cummer Museum, guests can also experience Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, the groundbreaking exhibition featuring the story and artwork of Augusta Savage, a Green Cove Springs native who became an accomplished sculptor and is widely considered a core figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Savage faced racism, sexism, and discrimination throughout her life, which hampered her commercial pursuits. Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman is the largest exhibition ever organized by the Museum and the most comprehensive exhibition highlighting Savage’s unique story.

Inspiration Through Local History Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:05:44 +0000 WRITTEN BY MUSEUM EDUCATOR DEBORAH PIERSON

Photo by Dennis Ho

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) are pleased to announce that Duval County fourth-grade students enrolled at Title I schools have been selected to attend a free school tour of Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman. DCPS is providing funding for bus transportation (via the Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant). Special thanks to the Cummer Museum, DCPS, and local sponsors for making this opportunity available to participating fourth-grade classrooms in Jacksonville’s public schools.

Photo by Dennis Ho

For more than 20 years, the Cummer Museum has been a leader in arts integration incorporating art, language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics into its tours. Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., has brought national attention to a local heroine, whose work as an artist, teacher, mentor, and activist richly represents North Florida history, the Harlem Renaissance, and women artists. This exhibition is a must-see for every member of the community, and we are pleased to partner with DCPS Superintendent Dr. Diana L. Greene to bring local fourth-graders to the Museum.

Photo by Dennis Ho

Fourth-grade curriculum focuses on local and state history. With Augusta Savage’s close ties to Northeast Florida – as a young girl growing up in Green Cove Springs, and as a young woman living in Jacksonville for a short time before moving to Harlem in the height of the Harlem Renaissance – this exhibition inspires students and teachers through the contributions of an important artist from their region. During their tour experience, students will learn about Augusta Savage’s early life in Northeast Florida, look closely at her artwork, and discover the role she played in the Harlem Renaissance movement as a teacher, mentor, and activist. In the studio, students will become sculptors and create their own three-dimensional works of art just as Savage did. Whether students have grown up in Northeast Florida or have only lived here for a short while, this experience will reinforce the fact that people just like them can make a positive impact on the world. The Museum is excited to welcome participating DCPS fourth-grade classrooms and invites schools from throughout the region to plan a visit to the Cummer Museum to experience the artistic, social, and historic impact of Augusta Savage through original works of art.

Photo by Dennis Ho

Augusta Savage School Tour Sponsors: Mrs. Helen Beedy and Mr. Greg Beedy; Ms. Caroline O. Brinton; Randy and Allison DeFoor; Dr. Anne Egan and Mr. George Egan; Ms. Elizabeth Exley; Ms. Janice W. Hall; Mr. Noah Henderson; Ms. Anna Henry; Mrs. Ann C. Hicks; Mr. Alden Howell; Mr. Thomas Larson and Ms. Janine K. Leland; The Law Offices of James F. Waters III P.A.; Mr. Gary Metzner; Ms. Pamela Y. Paul; Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert J. Pomar, Jr.; Mr. Joseph Porter and Mr. Carter Elliott; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Pratt-Dannals; Stephanie and Tom Welchans

Augusta Savage Exhibition Planning and Community Advisory Committee: Carol Alexander; Dustin Harewood; Barbara Harrell; Marty Jones; Princess Simpson Rashid; James Richardson; Adonnica Toler

Augusta Savage Host Committee (to date): Mr. and Mrs. Thompson Baker, III; Sally F. Baldwin; Caroline O. Brinton; Susan and Hugh Greene; Mr. and Mrs. William Harrell; John & Jan Hirabayashi; Mr. Hank Holbrook and Mrs. Pam D. Paul; Peter and Kiki Karpen; John and Nancy Kennedy; The Law Offices of James F. Waters, III, P.A.; Velma Monteiro-Tribble; Rick and Amy Morales; Kitty and Phil Phillips; James Richardson and Sandra Hull-Richardson; Sharón Simmons and Shirley Webb; Nina and Lex Waters; Dr. and Mrs. H. Warner Webb; Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Zimmerman

Exhibition Season Presenters: Ameris Bank; City of Jacksonville; Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; Robert D. and Isabelle T. Davis Endowment at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida; The Director’s Circle at the Cummer Museum; The Schultz Family Endowment

Sponsors: Charmaine T.W. Chiu and Ernest Y. Koe; Dr. Elizabeth Colledge; Cynthia G. Edelman Family Fund; The Hicks Foundation; Bob and Monica Jacoby; Dick and Marty Jones; Trisha Meili and Jim Schwarz; Michael Munz; NEA Art Works; Van and Sandra Royal; Mr. Ryan A. Schwartz; Allan Schwartzman; Sotheby’s Prize; Carl S. Swisher Foundation, Inc.; State of Florida; Wells Fargo

Community Partners: Avant Arts; City of Green Cove Springs; GENERATION W; Jacksonville Public Library; JAX Chamber; Leadership Jacksonville; Museum of Science & History; OneJax; Ritz Theatre and Museum; Special Project Partners; TEDx Jacksonville; University of North Florida Center of Urban Education and Policy; University of North Florida Department of Art and Design; Women of Color Cultural Foundation; Women’s Giving Alliance

In-Kind Sponsors: Agility Press, Inc.; DoubleTree Jacksonville Riverfront; The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library; Wingard

With Publication Support From: Henry Luce Foundation

The Museum Celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities Tue, 27 Nov 2018 14:17:36 +0000 WRITTEN BY MUSEUM EDUCATOR DULCIE HAUSE

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

Nearly a billion people live with a disability – that is roughly 15% of the world’s population! People with different abilities can face many challenges and barriers in their everyday lives that others do not. The Cummer Museum believes that art is for all people and constantly looks for ways to remove barriers and ease challenges for persons with disabilities to engage with and create art.

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

On Tuesday, December 4 the Museum will be celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Artwork created by Women of Vision, a monthly arts program for women with low vision or blindness will be on display. Also, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., there will be an open studio where visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the Museum’s programs for persons with disabilities including Women of Vision, Museum Access for Kids, the annual Arts4All Festival (formerly the VSA Festival), and outreach to the Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind.

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

During open studio, visitors can explore adaptive art-making tools to create their own artwork and explore tactile images of the Museum’s permanent collection. Tactile images in the Education Department’s collection include 3-D renderings of paintings and raised line drawings, and allow visitors with low vision or blindness to experience “seeing” a work of art through sense of touch rather than sight.

Please join us on December 4 for this free and exciting event!

Kids Free November at the Cummer Museum! Thu, 01 Nov 2018 21:06:35 +0000

Kids get in free at the Cummer Museum and many other locations around town this November! In partnership with Visit Jacksonville, the Museum will offer free admission throughout the month of November to children ages 12 and under. To learn more about Kids Free November and all of the great places around town you can visit with your little ones, pop over the Visit Jacksonville’s website for all the details.

A young boy and young girl imitating a work of art in a museum.

While you are at the Museum, check out the newly opened Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman. The exhibition highlights this Green Cove Springs native’s nationally and internationally acclaimed artwork and legacy. The Museum also features an interactive learning center, excellent for visitors of all ages to explore art in unique ways. Interactive Family Backpacks are available for use by families with young children and encourage kids to discover art through activities and materials created specifically for young visitors. The backpacks were created through the generosity of the Chartrand Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

This offer runs from November 1 through November 30. So visit once, or visit often. Bring up to five children (12 and under) for free per adult paying regular admission. No coupon is necessary.

This offer cannot be combined with other discounts/offers or special events and may not be used for schools, organizations, or associations.
Art Beyond Sight and the Women of Vision Program Fri, 26 Oct 2018 16:37:32 +0000  

Woman with low vision creating a work of art depicting a flower with bright purple printmaking ink.

“The Cummer Museum is where I come to be with my family that I don’t live with at home. We just share, and the women are visually impaired, so we all understand where everybody’s been.” — Renee Byrd, a participant in the Women of Vision program at the Museum

The Women of Vision program celebrates the communicative power and beauty of the visual and literary arts through emotional responses by women who each have low vision or blindness. On a personal level, the program offers to the women a place for camaraderie as indicated by Byrd.

Three women with low vision creating works of art with printmaking ink.

The women meet monthly on Friday afternoons. The program is separated into two portions – group sharing session focused on a creative writing exercise, followed by an art-making project. Every October, the Cummer Museum displays the artwork created by the Women in recognition of Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month.

“When the Museum mats and frames these pictures and we have an exhibit, they look like a million bucks,” said co-founder Sister Elizabeth Fiorite.

Women with low vision engaged in a touch tour of an outdoor sculpture of a bird.

The women also spend time in the galleries and outdoor spaces at the Museum, engaged in interactive touch tours that allow them to experience works of art through their other senses.

Stop by the Cummer Museum to view two- and three-dimensional works of art from Women of Vision on display through January 2019.

*Quotes obtained from “Cummer Museum Makes Visual Art Accessible To Those Who Can’t See” by Jessica Palombo on WJCT on October 27, 2016.
Welcome Kim Kuta Dring! Fri, 28 Sep 2018 11:37:23 +0000 Kim Kuta Dring recently joined the Cummer Museum team as Director of Education, overseeing the school, adult, family, outreach, and docent programs as well as Museum Education staff.

“I’m honored to carry on the tradition of educational excellence that the Cummer Museum has established throughout the years. I look forward to collaborating with local organizations to provide greater access to the Museum’s art and historic gardens in Jacksonville and surrounding communities,” said Kuta Dring.

Kim Kuta Dring received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and a graduate degree in Biology from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Prior to joining the team, she was the Director of Learning and Experience at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut for 14 years where she led the Education and Visitor Experience teams, oversaw the planning and delivery of hands-on STEAM-based experiences and exhibits, developed and maintained relationships in the community, and was a member of the senior management team. She also worked at other non-profit education organizations including Audubon Greenwich in Greenwich Connecticut, Sherwood Eddy YMCA in Jacksonville, Illinois, and Stokes Nature Center in Logan, Utah.

The Green Wall in the Cummer Café Tue, 14 Aug 2018 16:24:58 +0000 WRITTEN BY MARKETING INTERN EMILY WATERS

The new green wall at the Cummer Museum

Featured in many iconic cities, Green Walls are taking urban art to the next level—and one of them has arrived at the Cummer Museum!

The idea of the Green Wall was conceived in 1938 by Stanley Hart White, a professor of landscape and architecture at the University of Illinois. White was first to patent the Green Wall (or “Vegetation-Bearing Architectonic Structure and System,” as he liked to call it), though Patrick Blanc is the man responsible for making the walls popular in modern times. Blanc’s works range in size and are sprinkled throughout the world, but one of his most famous works is the Green Wall at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France.

Green wall at Quay Branly Museum, Paris

Also known as vertical gardens, Green Walls offer benefits to the spaces they occupy, aside from being nice to look at. The plants used in the walls are adapted to live in hydroponic conditions, giving the wall the ability to help the environment; the walls are known to reduce smog and clean other general air pollutants—like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air, while simultaneously replacing the VOCs with rich oxygen. Through their irrigation systems, these walls serve as natural water filters and have the ability to clean grey water (water from appliances, like washing machines and sinks, that is relatively clean). The installation also lowers the inner temperature of the structure the wall is anchored to by soaking up the extra heat that humans emit. As an added bonus to helping the environment, these vertical gardens have also been shown to increase happiness and emotional well being. As it turns out, humans like plants, and the color green is pretty calming.

Green wall at One Central Park, Sydney

Thankfully for us, we have our own Patrick Blanc right here in Florida. In early May, the Cummer Museum welcomed Green Wall artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza, who has spent 20 years developing his craft with a landscaping vision and passion that he has had since his childhood. The company, founded by Mendoza and Ram Matheus, loves weaving green walls into urban areas to bring people back to nature. The company strives to “raise awareness that [everyone is] part of a whole, that natural beauty feeds the soul, enhances our spirit, and protects us.” Organic Green Walls has many installations throughout North America, and we are excited to welcome our very own Green Wall to the Museum.

Ricardo Gil Mendoza and Organic Green Walls have generously donated the Museum’s very own vertical garden, which can be viewed on the Café Patio. Featuring the Museum’s “C” logo in the foliage, the wall ties art and nature together to make one eye-catching piece. Come by the Museum and see it today!

Plan for Cummer Museum’s green wall by artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza