USF's Museum Blog

Educating others in unfamiliar places

by Monet Oganesian (MA, 2016)

Even though my name is Monet, I did not grow up around art. My parents did not take me to museums. I discovered them on my own.

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After hours in the Artist’s Gallery at the deYoung Museum, artist Jane Kim takes a step back to observe her work.

It was not until I took my father on his first museum visit that I realized how there are numerous ways to educate the public about art and get them interested. During our visit to a museum in Los Angeles, my father saw one of Jeff Koons’ balloon dog sculptures and was curious about the material it was made from. Jeff Koons’ balloon dog sculptures are made of steel. When my father found this out, he was astonished. He became curious about the artist’s process. This experience remains in the back of my mind when I think of ways to involve and educate visitors in my work with the Artist-in-Residency program at deYoung Museum.

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Kevin B. Chen, Monet Oganesian, and Chad Hasegawa preparing a project for the public at the deYoung.

Whether you are a regular museum-goer or not, there are more ways to explore and learn about art and artists than you may think. Once a month at the deYoung, we have a local artist work in the Artist Studio create artwork and work on a collaborative project with the public. I have had the fantastic opportunity to build relationships with living contemporary artists and learn about their process, including Tiffany Turner, Jane Kim, Chad Hasegawa, Steve Ferrera, and Masako Miki. While the museum has many education programs, the Artist-in-Residence offers another perspective in learning: one that engages visitors with art through experiencing the artist’s process.

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Chad Hasegawa’s closing reception.

Working closely with Public Programs department Museum Educator Andrea Martin and Manager of Artist Studio and Public Programs Kevin B. Chen, one of my jobs is to connect visitors to the artists in the program.

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Tiffanie Turner talking to the public about her process.

To achieve this goal, I assist with the Periscope Project. This blog shares with readers everything happening in the Artist-in-Residency and Artist Studio. If you cannot make it to the museum, that’s okay. Check out the blog to witness the projects.

I encourage anyone who visits the deYoung to explore the Artist-in-Residency program artists. Talk to the artist, see the process through the artist’s eyes and explore your curiosities in an active space.

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Visitors in the Kimball Gallery creating flower petals for Tiffanie Turner’s floral sculpture.

If you’re a social media person, check out the Instagram @periscopeproject.

To view the blog, read about the artist and hear an interview that I have worked on, click: https://www.famsf.org/blog/indispensable-steve-ferrera

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After hours in the Artist’s Gallery at the deYoung Museum, artist Jane Kim takes a step back to observe her work.

For more information on University of San Francisco’s Museum Studies program, click here.

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