Two Faculty Members Speak to Fifty-Six Museum Guides at Mia
November 5, 2021
Two Perpich Arts High School faculty members, Kathryn D’Elia (Visual Arts Instructor and Gallery Coordinator) and Craig Farmer (Art History Instructor) prepared presentations for the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) to support their museum guides in engaging with visitors of a high school age group. Fifty-six tour guides attended the virtual presentation.
D’Elia’s presentation centered around explaining where this age group is as learners and exploring themes that tend to interest this group, such as: identity, body representation, how things are created, how artists reference and respond to each other through time, and how various cultures create similar items for very different uses and reasons. The final part of her presentation covered methods to explore while looking at artworks, such as: exploring composition using instinctual human impulses, becoming aware of our own visual route within an image, and tapping into association to create connections between the viewer’s personal experience and what they see.
Farmer emphasized paintings in the Renaissance through Rococo galleries that he features in his tours with his MCAD pre-college students and themes he uses in his Beginning Art History classes at Perpich. He also talked about BIPOC artists who could be discussed with singular works in those galleries. Finally, he introduced his scavenger hunt and postcard games that he uses at Mia.
Kathryn D’Elia is a practicing local artist creating dramatic, semi-abstract oil paintings of manipulated biological forms. She is a champion for formal drawing, painting skills, and experiential learning. She has been teaching for several years at The University of Washington, Artistry, and at Perpich, all while also supporting Minnesota non-profits. She earned her BFA from Flagler College in Florida and her MFA from The University of Washington. She is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. Kathryn is very excited to get to work with Perpich students to foster the creation of well thought-out and well realized 2-d projects.
Craig Farmer has been teaching art history at the high school level since 1992. He started his teaching career at the Field School of Washington, DC. From the summer of 2008 through 2019 he was an adjunct instructor in The University of Minnesota’s Curriculum and Instruction Department. Craig holds a B.A. in art history and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.A. in teaching from the University of St. Thomas. He was the graduation speaker for the classes of 2002, 2011, and 2015.
Mia Guides are volunteers who are passionate about inspiring wonder through the power of art. Currently, Mia has more than 250 guides who connect with visitors of all ages through tours and other special programs. Guides are trained on the art in Mia’s collection, and they focus on a school tour audience or an adult/multigenerational audience. All guides are trained on facilitating engaging and inclusive discussions with visitors. These volunteers help Mia to fulfill its mission of making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.