January is that wonderful time of the year when optimism and excitement reign and infect people with the desire to make resolutions and plans to do things they might not have done before. Teachers, we think this year, you should make a New Year’s resolution to bring your students to Crystal Bridges for a field trip. Here are our top five reasons why.
Did you know that Crystal Bridges has 120 acres of trails and grounds for you to explore? Your students can burn off some energy while you stroll through nature and enjoying the outdoor sculptures. Also, in the spring we offer two outdoor guided school tours, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Architecture and In the Round in the Forest.
We love for teachers to teach with our art collection in the classroom. In fact, that is the basis of our Teaching from Works of Art Summer Institute, but there is something really magical about watching the students’ reactions when they see works of art up close in the galleries, that they have seen projected in their classrooms. Students light up and can’t wait to share their observations on the differences they notice between the projected artwork and the real thing.
We have a staff of educators from across disciplines who love to guide students through the galleries on our student centered tours. Once in the galleries though, the students do the thinking and create the interpretations for the works of art featured on our thematic tours. On every school visit experience, educators help students to work on their speaking and listening skills as well as critical thinking and backing up observations with visual evidence. Your students will surprise you as you watch them analyze works of art. Don’t see a tour on the list that has exactly what you are looking for? No problem. There is nothing our team of educators loves more than a challenge. We can create a customized school tour for you and your students, around specific standards, with advanced notice, or if you prefer to lead your students on a self-guided tour, we can help you match works of art to you curriculum.
Since its opening on 11/11/11, Crystal Bridges set forth to be a valuable educational resource for the region. A generous donation from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation of Springdale, Ark., established a $10 million endowment for Crystal Bridges to provide school groups with funds necessary for a complete museum visit, including funding to cover the cost of transportation and substitute teachers if needed, lunches for the students and teachers on guided school tours, and pre- and post-visit educational materials. Funds are available to all public and private K–12 schools.
Blog by Sally Ball, School Programs & Gallery Teaching Manager.