On February 13, 114 docents and educators from eight arts and cultural institutions throughout Alabama attended a one-day workshop at the BMA. Talking Pictures was led by Michael Cassin, Director of the Center for Education in the Visual Arts at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Through a series of discussions and in-gallery exercises, participants considered the role of education in today’s museums and how to create engaging tour experiences. The Museum is proud to offer excellent professional development opportunities to our volunteers and colleagues throughout the state.
BMA docent Nadine L’Eplattenier-Gibson, who attended The Clark’s docent summer school in Williamstown, Mass., last summer, was excited that Cassin brought his unique teaching approach to Birmingham. “He was excellent in engaging us in the various gallery talks and small group discussions. It was a wonderful day for exploration and engagement!”
“We want visitors to have ‘aha!’ moments on our tours, but Cassin taught us that an ‘aha!’ state of mind helps them to see wonder in the world around them,” said Cathye McDonald, BMA docent chair. “Every object has the capacity to excite wonder if we view it right. We should always have second thoughts, be flexible, keep thinking, and not fall into a routine or set script.”