Monday, December 19, 2016

Museum Happenings: 2016 A Year in Review!

2016: A Year in Review

In 2016, the University of Mississippi Museum's Education and Outreach programming reached new audiences, formed lasting partnerships, and brought the museum's collections and special exhibits to life for over 12,500 participants both on and off-site. We have expanded both the number and reach of programming, but beyond the growth in numbers, our successes are measured in the small moments where intergenerational learning happens, an object from the collection inspires classroom discussion, or a child or a family experiences the museum for the first time. Such unprecedented growth was made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Museum in their annual Harvest Supper fundraising, the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, and many individuals and donors who have made a difference for the Museum. Programming was extended to reach new audiences starting at age zero with our new stroller tour program, Buie Babies, in partnership with LOU Excel by 5. Buie Babies included special visitors from the Early Years Network, Kindermusik with Jeanne, the Lafayette-Oxford Public Library, and the Lafayette County Literacy council, providing an opportunity for parents to mingle and learn about community resources, and it was exciting to see babies making new observations and experiencing the lights and colors of art for the first time. Our programming also extended for adult audiences with a renewed effort for adult programming including the drop-in First Friday Free Sketch Days, Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters sketching workshop with Constance Pierce, and our Adult Studio Photography Workshop with Brooke White inspired by "The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston."

In addition to growing programming to reach audiences of different ages, this year we were more involved than ever in our local community, forming new, lasting partnerships with groups including Good Food for Oxford Schools, the Literacy Council, Boys and Girls Clubs of North MS, the Oxford Community Market, Rebelthon, Guyton Fall Fest, and expanding on existing partnerships with Leap Frog, the Scott Center, YAC, the Ford Center, Horizons, Baptist Memorial Hospital- North MS, AmeriCorps VISTA, LOU Reads, Excel by 5, and more! Between these outreach efforts and continuing initiatives to raise student awareness through tours and scholarly collaborations, the UM Museum feels more relevant in both our community and university than ever before.

A big effort of 2015 included an Ignite Ole Miss crowd-funding campaign to provide three years of free family days, and it was exciting to see those funds put into action this year. We started the year with a Quilting Cupids Family Day where families created projects inspired by the breathtaking quilts of Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, then we finished up the spring with a family day inspired by the impressionist landscapes of Kate Freeman Clark. During this event we collected quilts and blankets for those in need that were donated to the Interfaith Compassion Ministry. For the first time we also offered a summer family day connecting the Rio Summer Olympics with our David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities. The Summer Olympics also helped relaunch this blog with #OlympicsDidYouKnow posts celebrating the ancient collection and making educational ties to the modern games. Fall 2016 saw our two biggest annual family days: Let's Move! Family Day on the trail where over 200 participants went on an archaeological adventure through Bailey's Woods to Rowan Oak, where the Public Archaeology Day was going on, and our Santa's Workshop, where the Museum and Ford Center hosted 338 participants as families created winter art projects, found trouble-making elves in the galleries, and rode the Flying Tuks to Gingerbread Village.

Public programs continued to fill up at unprecedented speeds, and our Mini Masters toddlers, Art Zone after school kids, Milkshake Mash-Up middle schoolers and teens explored new exhibits, made connections and expanded their creativity through stories and art. Art Zoners took field trips to the UM Art Department, renowned portrait artist, Jason Bouldin's studio, and the UM Theatre prop storage for a photography project, while also meeting guest artists Carlyle Wolfe, Jonathan Smith, and Frank Estrada. Our older Art Zone students were even able to make virtual museum tours in Studio One at the UM library! Summer 2016 was by far the busiest two months on record. In the mornings we welcomed campers to museum summer camps exploring American art, ancient civilizations, mythology, science and nature, and more for students in grades 1-5, a pre-K Mini Masters Camp, and a Middle School Camp.  While camps were happening in one classroom, our other classroom was filled with daycare kids from ABC Learning, North Oxford Baptist Church, and First Baptist in our Passport to Art program, where kids would get passports stamped each week as we traveled to a foreign land or time period inspired by the museum's collection. In the afternoons, our classrooms were busy with Rebel Quest kids in one room and Horizons classes in the other. Horizons is a partnership which has made a tremendous impact as we have been able to create a sense of ownership of the museum for children from low-income families at risk for falling behind in the summer learning gap. As fall started, we also found new opportunities to bring our exhibit of William Eggleston photography to life as we used a classroom set of cameras to introduce photography to our Art Zone kids, Northside Tupelo Boys and Girls Club, and Jonestown Community Development Resource and Activity Center inspired by the exhibit.

All of these programs would not have been possible without our team of educational interns, graduate assistantships and volunteers. A special thank you goes out to Stacy Siebenaler, Anna Garrett, Mary Holland Burnett, Meghan Matthews, Ben Strassman, Jake Bava, Taylor Dumas, Casey Bemis, Jessie Smith, Grace Moorman, Kelly Meksto, Julia Ashley, Emily Hargrove, Abby Posey, and all of the wonderful teachers who have lead our programs this year. This fall, Emily Hargrove began her graduate assistantship at the UM Museum through the School of Education, after demonstrating leadership while interning at the museum. Steven Mockler, another former intern, also returned to the Museum as our 2016-2017 AmeriCorps VISTA and has already made a significant impact, including his hard work on this blog.

A list of programs and partners- many of which were repeated weekly, monthly, or semesterly visits or programs is included below, and we have loved every minute of 2016 being able to share the Museum with these audiences! Our team was able to reach thousands of children off-site through our Traveling Trunk program, which we are able to offer to teachers free of charge and has been a cornerstone of the museum's educational mission for decades. This was also a big year for tours; 17 EDHE classes made their way to the museum; with the addition of events like the Fall Family Weekend and Provost Scholars Mingles, we are making strides toward the goal of making sure every UM student experiences early in their college career. We were proud to host studio art, art history, classics, English, poetry, English as a second language classes, and more. We have had busy days of school visits starting as young as Pre-K, and seeing large groups such as 170 2nd graders from Tupelo all in one morning, or the 630 OE first graders total that visited our Museum in the spring and fall. Each group has left an impression on our staff and this museum, and it has been our privilege to enhance their classroom experiences with engaging field trips.

To all of the families and children who have experienced the Museum this year and those we hope to reach in the year ahead, Happy Holidays from our team at the UM Museum! 

Emily McCauley
Curator of Education
UM Museum

2016 Museum Happenings List: 

Public Programs
Milkshake Mash Ups (monthly)
Art Zone
RebelWell Yoga in the Galleries (weekly)
Mini Masters (x2 per month in partnership with YAC)
Quilting Cupids Family Day- Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry-
Free Sketch Fridays- new program! (monthly)
Buie Babies- new program! (x3)
Marie Hull Over the River and Through the Woods Landscape Painting FAD
Passport to Art: 8 weeks of summer programming for day cares- ABC Learning, North Oxford Baptist, First Baptist, 4-5 days per week
Summer Camps- Coast to Coast: American Art, Science and Art, Tribal Art, Mythology Camp, Museum Mania, Mini Masters, All About Art: Middle School Edition
Night of Whimzy inspired by MS artist Marie Hull
ASW Sketching in the Galleries with Constance Pierce
Summer Olympics Family Day- in partnership with RebelWell and Campus Rec
Eta Sigma Phi Toga Trivia night developed by Melanie Munns, Antiquities Collections Manager and the Classics Department
Let’s Move Family Activity Day
ASW Photography Workshop with Brooke White
Santa’s Workshop- 330 in attendance

Tours and University Connections
Kris Belden-Adams Art History Class and Liberal Arts (x2)
PEAK Tupelo Homeschool Group
ARED 361 Tours (x5)- 60 volunteers each semester
YAC homeschool group
Jan Murray: Art 101 (x5)
Brad Cook Classics Students (x4)
Cub Scouts
Calhoun Academy
Coterie Club
Grenada HS
Matt Long/Andrew McIntyre Ceramics Classes
South Pontotoc Middle School
OIS Art Club
Dr. Ajootian's Classics students in partnership with Melanie Munns, Antiquities Collection Manager
Dr. Arizzoli (x8)
Dr. Becker Classics
EDHE Classes (x17)
Blair Hobbs Poetry Students (x4)
Planter’s Bank
North Pontotoc HS
Art 101
OE Insights (x2)
OE Elementary 1st Graders (350 -Spring and 280-Fall )
Ripley Retirement Group
Intensive English Program Tours (x2)
Visit Oxford (x2)
St Benedict’s High School
The Blake (x2)
Chalybeate Elementary School
NWCC (x8)
Amory Groups
Regents of Oxford (x2)
Pontotoc Elementary Second Graders (175)
Columbia Academy
Moms and Tots
Rebel Quest- 2 visits per week in the summer
DDS Camp Discovery
Jumpstart Group from Vardaman
Oxford Park Commission: (90)
Lott Institute Delta Group
First Baptist Summer Program Tour and Activity
North Panola Summer School
McLean Institute Summer Groups
Honors College Welcome Week Tours
Dramatic Literature UM Class
CREO school Wren, MS
Baldwin HS Tour
New Albany Middle Tour and Activity
New Albany Homeschool Group
Pearman Elementary, Cleveland, MS Tour and Activity
School of Pharmacy Staff Retreat
Itawamba Community College
New Albany Elementary Gifted
Dr. Crouther Art 101 (x6)
Honors 101 Eggleston Tour
National Archaeology Day HS Students
Discovery Day School Tour and Activity
Abbeville Day Care tour and activity
Memphis Retirement Group
Lawhon Elementary (170)
Potts Camp Middle School
Calhoun City Elementary

Outreach Partnerships
Scott Center (twice each month, culminating in a final exhibition of student work)
Monthly visits to Lafayette-Oxford Public Library
Leap Frog
Boys and Girls Club
Horizons- Horizons Day in February, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer
First Folios Ford Center Partnership
Oxford Community Market- Busy Bee Program- Monthly, started partnership in May
Baptist Baby Fair
AmeriCorps VISTA
Guyton Fall Festival
Food Day with Good Food for Oxford Schools at OE (10/24)
Community Wizarding Walk
Eggleston photo project at Northside Boys and Girls Club and Jonestown Community Center

Trunk Visits
Traveling Trunk Prof Dev. Day in Como
Walter Anderson Trunk to Della (100)
Theora Trunk to Tupelo Middle School (45)
Folk Art Trunk in Saltillo Elementary (195)
Walter Anderson Trunk to DDS
ARED Walter Anderson Trunk
Lowcountry Basket Trunk to Chickasaw Elementary
Chinese Trunk to Della
Ancient Greece Trunk to Lafayette Upper Elementary
Chinese Trunk at Chickasaw Elementary
African Trunk at Joyner Elementary
Lowcountry Basket Trunk to Lafayette Elementary (x3)
Ancient Greece Trunk to Della
Walter Anderson Trunk to Regents
Chinese Art Trunk to UM Student Teachers
Faulkner Trunk to Water Valley High School
Folk Art Trunk to Boys and Girls Club
Ancient Greece Trunk to Oakland Public Library
Folk Art Trunk to Carrot Camp
Lowcountry Basket Trunk to Carrot Camp
Ancient Greece Trunk to Batesville Public Library
Chinese Art Trunk to Boys and Girls Club of Oxford
African Art Trunk to Jonestown
Folk Art Trunk to Rebel Quest
African Art Trunk to Boys and Girls Club of MS
Folk Art Trunk to Jonestown
Lowcountry Basket Trunk to RebelQuest
Folk Art Trunk to Coffeeville Public Library
African Trunk to RebelQuest
Chinese Trunk to RebelQuest
Theora Trunk to Baldwyn Elementary (90)
Faulkner Trunk to Walter Valley HS Special Needs
Walter Anderson Trunk to Della
Theora Trunk at Lafayette Middle School
Ancient Greece Trunk at Rankin Elementary (170)
Faulkner Trunk to New Albany Elementary
Chinese Trunk to Lafayette
Faulkner Trunk to Bramlett After School
Chinese Trunk to Bramlett After School
Theora Trunk to Lafayette Elementary
Walter Anderson Trunk to Northside Boys and Girls in Tupelo
Ancient Greece Trunk to Northside Boys and Girls in Tupelo
Theora Trunk to Della Davidson
Native American Trunk to Water Valley HS Special Needs
Theora Trunk to Lafayette Elementary


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Try it Out! Calder Mobiles and Paintings

Look at this cool lithograph from Alexander Calder that we have in our collection! 

Alexander Calder, b. 1898 d. 1976

Alexander Calder,
Sandy to his friends, is an American painter and sculpture artist famous for his mobile sculptures and bold, geometric paintings. Born in 1898 in Pennsylvania, he was friends with famous artists and writers like Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Marcel Duchamp! In today's Try it Out, we'll be making our own mobiles and paintings inspired by Calder's unique style!

Calder-Inspired Mobiles

Hanging Mobile by Alexander Calder

Calder invented his delicately balanced sculptures because he wanted to draw in the air. As Marchel Duchamp watched them transform and move with the wind, he said Calder should call them mobiles. 

When Calder started creating his mobiles, he made a whole circus and invited famous friends like Pablo Picasso to come watch performances. After you hang your mobile, head to a public library and find Sandy's Circus: A Story about Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone to learn more about Sandy's Circus! 

Pipe cleaners
Foam pages

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

1. Create a mobile hanger with pipe cleaners. Take two pipe cleaners and twist both ends on each side to attach. Should make an oval-like shape. Take a third pipe cleaner and bend in half. Twist the ends around the center of the oval.
Hanger for mobile.

2.  Cut out shapes of various colors and sizes. Hole punch shapes.
3. Use various colored pipe cleaners to thread through the hole-punched shape. Twist and attach to mobile.
4.  Repeat steps 2-3 until you have completed your mobile. 

Reminder! Calder was known for the balance in his artwork. Try to add shapes so the mobile is delicately balanced!

Calder-Inspired Painting

Alexander Calder, b. 1898 d. 1976

Calder was famous for his mobiles, but was inspired to start painting after he saw Piet Mondrian's paintings. He liked the bold, primary colors, but thought the paintings would look better with shapes. Below is the lithograph from the beginning of the post. Look at how he used simple shapes and color to balance the design on the page, just like he did with his mobiles. 
Alexander Calder, b. 1898 d. 1976


White board or canvas
Black sharpie
Washable paint (in primary colors)

Estimated Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

1. Draw simple lines and shapes with a black sharpie on your board. Try to create balance on the canvas by placing different lines and shapes on either side to balance out the painting. What types of shapes can you include? 

2. Using washable paint, fill in those shapes. We are starting with the primary colors (red, blue, yellow) in addition to black. Do you want colors like green and purple? The primary colors are the building blocks of all other colors and you can mix them in an infinite number of ways. What colors would we combine to get the secondary colors green, purple, and orange? 

Mr. Steven
3. Once dry, hang the painting and mobile next to each other so other people can see the similarities and difference between the two forms! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MMM Revealed! Oxford, MS

This beautiful Winter Wonderland is our very own Oxford, MS!

Winter View
Glennray Tutor, b. 1950
Glennray Tutor painted this view from a photo he took on top of a building on the Square. Do you know which building he might have painted it from?

Next Monday, Education Curator Emily Dean will be posting a 2016 Year in Review! We hope you've had fun figuring our our bi-monthly Museum Mysteries and we can't wait to bring you even more fun in 2017.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Try It Out: Lekythos

Look at this interesting piece of pottery that we have in our David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman art! What do you think they are? What do you think they could have been used for? What images do you see depicted on the surface?

What can the shape tell us about how this vase was used? What about the color? 
Look at this small opening, this probably wasn't used to pour something thick...

These are called lekythoi (one = lekythos). Typically, the small vases were used to hold oil or perfumes and were frequently found in baths and gymnasiums. They were used often and were decorated to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Many were either all-black or decorated with red figures. The ones displayed above, however, are decorated with fine line drawings and are all-white, a style most commonly associated with funerary offerings!

Here is our completed lekythos with another replica. 

Required Materials:

Air dry Clay (red will look the most authentic)
Black Paint
Paint brush

Optional Materials:

Paper plate with All-purpose flour
Wax Paper
Water and bowl
Clay tools or toothpicks

Estimated Time: 25 hrs, 30 minutes sculpting, 30 minutes painting, 24 hours to dry
  1. Rub your hands in the flour so they don't stick to your clay.
  2. Open your clay on wax paper so it doesn't stick to the table. Depending on how big you'd like your lekythos to be, use 1 to 2 balls the size of a small fist.
  3. Roll the clay into as many "snakes" as you can.
  4. Coil one snake around itself to make a circle; this will be your base. 
  5. Press your coiled circle together so it looks like a small cookie. You can use some of the water in your bowl to help smooth out the seams.
  6. Lift the "cookie" off the wax paper to make sure it doesn't stick.
  7. Take another coil and place it slightly inside the cookie shape and begin coiling. Continue to add snake coils so the walls of your vase start to build. 
  8. Place one finger inside the vase to smooth the coils. The water can help blend everything together. 
  9. Your vase should begin to reach a good height. Once it reaches your desired height, add a coil on the inside of the top of the vase to start closing it up. Pinch together. 

  10. Wrap one coil around your finger. Pinch it together to form a smooth tube for your vase neck. 
  11. Add the neck to your vase form. Smooth it together with the rest of the vase so it won't break off. Pinch one side to form a small circle on the side of the neck. 
  12. Using a clay carving tool or toothpick, carve an uppercase-D into the middle of the circle.
  13. Poke out the uppercase-D and smooth out your handle. 
  14. Use the clay carving tools or toothpicks to help smooth out the lekythos shape. Leave the vase overnight and wait for it to dry. While you wait for your lekythos to dry, watch the videos below to learn more about Greek and Roman art. 
  15. Once the lekythos is dry, use black paint to add details! Use the surface of your lekythos to tell a story. Need some inspiration? Look at this amphora, another kind of vase used for storing water, to see some common themes in Greek art. 
Exit Pursued by Griffin, Mr. Steven

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Museum Mystery: Where is This Winter Wonderland?

Winter is here and so is our first Monday Museum Mystery of December! The temperature is down and the snow is starting to pile up all around the country! As the little ice crystals descend, they cover everything and turn the world into an icy paradise.

Do you like the cold? What would you do if you had a Snow Day from school? Where do you think this winter wonderland is?

Don't worry, we won't give you the cold shoulder! Come back next Monday, December 12th when we reveal the answer to today's Monday Museum Mystery! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Museum Happenings: December

While things quiet down around campus for the holiday season, the Museum is still busy with great programming! See below for everything that we're up to in December 2016.

All Month

Bring a piece of the Museum home with you this holiday season! The Ole Miss Powder Blue Helmet Keepsake is officially on sale in the Museum Store. Buy in-person or over the phone 662.915.7073. 

Order by December 14th to ensure your keepsake is home for the holidays! If you buy in-person, check out all the other new and interesting merchandise you can buy in our revamped Museum Store! 

December 1st
3:45 pm to 4:30 pm, $5 per family. 

Drop-in and do some fun, winter-themed assemblages inspired by Jason Twiggy Lott's Apocrypha. 

December 2nd
All Day, Free

Open to artists of all skill levels, feel free to use our sketch materials (first come, first serve) or bring your own! Gallery stools generously provided by a grant from the Lafayette-Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow. 

December 3rd
9 am to 12 pm, Free

Fun, holiday-themed Family Activity Day appropriate for all ages. Come join us for some festive snacks as we put together Gingerbread Picture Frames and Snowman Assemblage Ornaments! Peruse our extra special Winter Wonderland Pop-up Gallery, and get ready for an adventure to find some naughty Museum Education Elves! #SantasWorkshop2K16

Once you're finished in the gallery, take a ride on our Flying Tuk Sleighs to go see the Gingerbread Village at the Ford Center

December 7
4:00 pm to 5:15 pm, Free

Open to all Grades 6+, join us for a fun, free evening where we mix up some milkshakes and mash-up two styles or artists to make one fun project!

December 10
Apocrypha's Final Day!

Come take one last look at Jason Twiggy Lott's Apocrypha! Lott's assemblages have quickly become a favorite among tour groups and general visitors. In case you missed it, here is our interview with Lott as well as a project inspired by his work. 

We'd love to hear what your favorite piece or aspect of the show was, so go ahead an leave a comment below with your favorite memory of this incredible show! 

This month we're happy to welcome the following groups to the Museum: 

Calhoun City Elementary School
Oxford Moms and Tots
Potts Camp Middle School
Scott Center
Lawhon Elementary School in Tupelo, MS

If you are interested in booking a tour or activity, please contact Emily McCauley at 662-915-7205 or We would love to share the Museum with your group soon! 

Looking for more to do in Oxford? Check out these upcoming events from our partners!

First Regional Public Library:

Our friends at First Regional are always busy with events for people in the community. Check out their Events Calendar for up-to-date offerings and contact information.

Ford Center for the Performing Arts

The Ford Center is very busy this holiday season with a combination of free and paid programming in December. Full schedule with contact information and pricing available here.

Yaknapatopha Arts Council:

Holiday Art Market:

December 2nd, 1 pm to 10 pm, Reception 5 pm to 6pm
December 3rd, 9am to 10 pm
December 4th, 12 pm to 5 pm

Holiday Ornament Auction:

December 8th, 7 pm to 9 pm

The Mousetrap presented by Theatre Oxford

December 1st-3rd, 7:30 pm
December 4th, 2 pm