The Museum Education Department has welcomed four new team members in 2017. We have quickly become close colleagues and friends; it’s hard to believe they are so new to the Museum staff. I hope you will take the time to get to know the talented individuals who have recently joined fellow Educators Brandy Morrison, Meg Hall, Jill Byrd, and myself.
Kelly Bazan, ARTWORKS Educator
What is your favorite thing about your role at the Museum?
“I am able introduce art to children one-on-one. They think of it as play, and I construct their play so it’s about learning – it’s all about that moment of seeing them understand.”
Does being a parent of a young child inform your practice?
“My preschooler has always loved coming to ARTWORKS to dance in front of the Tannenbaum Screen, race cars, and put on puppet shows. It is rewarding to watch all young members of our community have that opportunity and to see them return to the Museum as adults.”
What do you enjoy most about the field of Museum Education?
“I enjoy getting to bring my ideas and talents to a team that is dedicated to educating all ages.”
Laura Bocquin, Outreach Coordinator
What a does a new school year mean to you?
“We are back in session with the 3rd and 4th graders at Wares Ferry and the adjudicated high school students at Mt. Meigs (DYS). When I meet new students, I am newly inspired. I love the chance to help enrich Montgomery beyond the walls of the Museum through weekly classes at both locations, connecting them to the arts and this great establishment. “
You did a lot of teaching with the Museum before joining us full time. What led you here?
“I am driven to share the joy of art and started working in art education in my late teens. In college, while I was student teaching, a great art educator recommended me to MMFA where I taught a children’s drawing class. Ever since the Museum has been a home for me.”
Elisabeth Palmer, Assistant Curator of Education, Docent and Adult Programs
Docents are the ambassadors of the Museum. What are you working on together?
“I am excited about getting to know the collection with the new docents and the excursions the docent council has planned – first stop an exhibition about the Museum of Wonder. I also look forward to supporting docents leading the new 5th grade tour program Becoming Alabama.”
What inspires you in your work?
“With all that we offer for visitors of all ages, I feel I’ve arrived at a feast and look forward to extending it to the sculpture garden. I have been planning programs for Uncommon Territory (opening November) and can’t wait to introduce our audiences to what’s happening in contemporary art in Alabama.”
Kaci Norman, Assistant Curator of Education Youth and Family Programs
Why did you choose the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts?
“To work at the MMFA was on my career bucket list. The reputation of the Museum attracted me here, and its commitment to Education and the community make me want to stay.”
Have you been faced with any rewarding challenges since you have been at the Museum?
“One of my challenges was to develop a tour of Alabama History as told through our collection – in celebration of our bicentennial. I am excited to see the docents inspired by a new perspective on the narrative power of art and look forward to seeing the 5th graders’ response.”
What are you looking forward to now?
“Since I arrived, I have been excited about opportunities to expand school programs and the chance to teach children in the studios as they become more comfortable with self-expression.”
What a joy to work with each of these individuals. We are looking forward to a new and exciting year with you at the Museum.
-Alice Novak, Curator of Education