6 Engaging Virtual New England Art Experiences
Transform your digital classroom into an art gallery with assistance from these interactive programs.
As classrooms begin this school year with an emphasis in online education, the importance of colorful and hands-on virtual experiences is key to keeping students engaged. New England’s art museums boast interactive workshops, virtual galleries and educational videos that give students the excitement of a field trip from the safety of the digital classroom.
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich offers the opportunity for classrooms to schedule longer virtual field trips that are live and interactive. With a flat fee of $75 per classroom, students are taken on a 45 minute to 1 hour tour of the museum with a guide. This is the perfect opportunity to have an all-inclusive field trip experience to an art museum from the safety of home. The museum also offers digital lessons featuring lectures from the staff and curators, as well as hands-on activities like creating your own paper shark with materials from home.
The Portland Museum of Art has developed programs in the last few months that provide students at home with a variety of unique experiences that are curated for the digital classroom. Students will be able to explore through their collections page, containing 18,000 artworks ranging from Andy Warhol to Claude Monet. Traveling through the museum’s web page becomes an experience much like visiting the museum.
Through the offered lectures and activities, students can learn fly-tying and experience a piece of Maine’s history of outdoorsmanship culture. Lectured videos by the museum curators also shed light on famous paintings such as Uncle Ned At Home by Winslow Homer and dive into the styles that make the artists we know today. The incorporation of history and art is highlighted in this museum’s virtual world, giving students the opportunity to develop their own creativity while studying world-renowned artists.
The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center boasts virtual activities that emphasize hands-on creativity and access to the museum’s vast artwork collection. Creating a Flickr account (an online database for easy access to the collections of the museum and photos of the artists in action, allows students and teachers to explore the museum with ease and excitement.
On the museum’s web page students can build LEGOS over zoom with brick artist and LEGO Masters finalist Jessica “Ragzy” Ewud or go on a virtual exhibit tour through Postcards to Battleboro: 40 Years of Mail Art. Through the online program made for online students called BMCCreate!, students can learn about pollinators and play a bloom-inspire hopscotch game or try out their ability to make artwork inspired by the sounds around us.
The pen pal art activity that allows students to exchange artistic postcards to their friends or send to the museum where the postcards will be given to local senior residences to brighten their day.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston works to bring digital learning to both students and teachers through virtual art activities and teacher workshops. With the aim to reach as many people as possible during a time when virtual learning is the common reality, the MFA focuses on bringing interactive art activities to students, families, teachers and art enthusiasts.
Students of all ages can learn how to weave their own basket with materials from home, try their hand at painting with watercolor pencils and learn how to make a dragon puppet. Older students can take studio art lessons with tutorial videos at home or attend virtual visits through the museum’s collections. The unique focus on educators gives online workshops to help teachers explore the ways in which they can incorporate art into their curriculum using the museum’s collections and objects as tools.
New Hampshire’s Hood Museum of Art boasts an abundance of interactive virtual experiences for students that give a unique look into the culture of Dartmouth University. During this past spring, the Hood Museum created a vast activities portal that features a fully digital escape room-style game that features Dartmouth campus public arts. Students can also choose from plenty of interesting experiences like a virtual makers night where students work to create with found objects or attend the virtual second annual Indigenous Peoples’ Month fashion show that puts students in the audience.
The National Museum of American Illustration in Newport gives classrooms virtual access to their famous collections while also curating online exhibitions that highlight the present day. Students can explore some of the most inspiring American art made and see how we may be more similar to those that lived in the past than we think. The online exhibitions Celebrating The Class of 2020 and Essential Workers highlights the obstacles we face today and the importance of connection rather than division. Both exhibitions feature artwork through America’s history that focus on students’ experiences and the work of our doctors, firemen, police officers, postal workers and all essential workers that have been providing the same foundational support throughout history.