MARQUETTE - The DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University isn't just a place for adults and college kids. There are chances for the younger set to get an early start on art education, too.
There are two opportunities for K-12 students to get a taste of the DeVos museum, in the fall and in the spring, said museum direction Melissa Matuscak. During the fall semester, the museum schedules tours during a two- week period.
When the classes come to tour the show that is currently on display, they not only learn about that particular exhibit, but they also participate in hands-on activity related to that show, Matuscak said. The tours each last about an hour and a half before the activity and are led by trained volunteers.
People peruse an exhibit displaying art work by students from area elementary schools, at the DeVos Art Museum in Marquette in 2008. (Journal file photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
Melissa Matuscak, director of the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University, stands behind the help desk in the museum. The museum strives to create opportunities for younger set to get a early start on art education. (Journal file photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
The fall tours run for a period of two weeks, so they are limited in number, Matuscak noted.
"There are a limited number of tours we can offer, so it is first come, first serve,"?she said. "But we haven't had to turn anyone away, but we do fill up pretty fast."
This fall, students who visit the gallery will experience an exhibit from professors and students from a university in Sichuan, China. The show, which is heavily influenced by Tibetan folkart, is very colorful, Matuscak said.
"We offer busing reimbursement. So we try to make it affordable for the schools."
- Melissa Matuscak, director, DeVos Art Museum
In the spring, in conjunction with the annual Marquette County Children's Art Exhibition, tours are also given of the museum. Younger students also get the opportunity to have their work submitted to be displayed in the gallery as well.
One of the perks for school districts is that the DeVos helps to over the cost of busing for field trips to the museum during the fall and spring tour times.
"We offer busing reimbursement," Matuscak said. "So we try to make it affordable for the schools."
Matuscak said the museum is also looking to expand programs that bring art directly to the students. In previous years, art education students from NMU with the aid of professor Mike Letts, took pieces from the DeVos permanent collection to local schools and gave presentations to students. She said hopes to do more of this type of work in the future.
To sign up to participate in one of the fall tours, contact Suzy Swanson at the School of Art and Design Office at 227-2787.
For more information on the DeVos, visit art.nmu.edu/department/museum/.
Claire Abent can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.