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Friday, Jul 25, 2014

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Jeremiah Myers, a participant in the Museum Studies Certificate program, explains an art piece about honey bees to his friends Megan Longstreth, Maggie Vervalt and Kelly Goodison at the April 2, 2014, Museum Studies Reception.

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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Hannah Meixner, a junior in geological sciences, who participated in the Museum Studies Certificate program, examines art pieces in the "Constructing Perspectives" exhibtion with her boyfriend Kevin Arseniseuz at the Kennedy Museum of Art.

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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Students examine work from the Museum Studies first exhibition at the Kennedy Museum of Art. The show will run throughout the summer.

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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Inaugural Museum Studies Certificate cohort hosts first art exhibitions

Applications available for next cohort


The Ohio University Kennedy Museum of Art (KMA) was the site of a historic moment for the new Museum Studies Certificate program in the School of Art + Design on Wednesday.

The certificate's first cohort of 15 students unveiled its two gallery exhibitions titled "Constructing Perspectives" and "EXCESSive." The exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Ed Pauley, who has directed the Kennedy Museum since February 2008, said he was instrumental in creating the certificate program because he was involved in a similar project involving North Dakota State University and the Plains Art Museum while he lived in Fargo, N.D.

Pauley said it has taken almost three years for the Museum Studies Certificate program to reach this point and he is pleased with the art exhibitions produced by the inaugural cohort.  

"You work very hard and the exhibition is in the conceptual phase for a long time and then it comes together quickly," Pauley said.

The students in the cross-disciplinary academic program were divided into two teams. Each team developed a theme-based exhibition featuring pieces from the KMA collection as well as at least one borrowed piece from an outside artist.

The exhibitions are part of the academic requirements for the spring semester practicum course Museum Fundamentals II. The students completed the first course, Museum Fundamentals I, during fall semester.

The lecture-based course featured several guest speakers from the museum industry throughout the semester. Both courses were co-taught by Pauley and Sally Delgado, KMA curator of education.

For Wednesday's exhibitions, each student was assigned one of four museum industry jobs to perform for their respective team according to their interests. These jobs included curator, registration, education and design specialist. Before designing the exhibitions, the teams reviewed the more than 4,500 pieces in the KMA collection.

Junior art history major Henry Kessler, who served as one of two curators for the EXCESSive team, said Wednesday's exhibition was the result of a lot of hard work and planning.

"The whole process was fascinating," Kessler said. "It felt like we were in a reality show because we only had so many weeks and the two teams. Although it was never a competition, we wondered how we were going to get all of this work done. I'm impressed by what came out of both groups, and both exhibitions look very professional."

Samantha Rommel, a senior anthropology major, served in an educational role for the EXCESSive team and along with one other teammate was responsible for producing educational materials, gallery guides, artist bios and statements, QR codes, teacher packets and gallery tours.

"I want to do museum work," Rommel said. "I've always had a passion for them (museums) because you get to learn so much in a museum setting. This project went well despite being difficult because of the time constraint and the fact that this was the first time any of us have done this sort of work. It was definitely eye-opening."

Pauley said he is pleased with the look of the exhibitions and how hard the students worked on it.

"If you've done all your homework correctly, it looks like what we have here," Pauley said. "It's a great looking show and the students are very pleased. They feel part of the museum world now and they understand how museums work."

Pauley said the Museum Studies Certificate program is taking applications for next year's cohort and it's open to both graduate and undergraduate students in all majors.

"We want to stress that the program is designed for students across campus regardless of what their discipline is, because there are as many museum types as there are disciplines," Pauley said.

For more information about the Museum Studies Certificate or to apply for next year's cohort, visit http://www.ohio.edu/finearts/art/academics/programs/museum-studies.cfm.