Visitors in the seating area of Threads of Experience
As the GSK Education Fellow, I’ve been studying the ways in which people are engaging with, interacting with, and using all their senses to discover the revamped African gallery, especially since one of the staff’s goals was to create an active space for visitors to sit together, learn together, and play together. To compile data about how the galleries are being used, I’ve been observing how visitors move through the space, what labels and artworks they actually look at, and how they design their own embroidered artworks, all while trying to look as inconspicuous as I can. (Of course I’m not noting what time you enter the gallery—I’m just another visitor looking at my phone …)
The giant collaborative loom in Threads of Experience that you should definitely contribute to
Examples of embroidery pieces that were created by visitors
A little girl worked very hard on this heart.
I’m sorry, yes, I occasionally listen to your conversations, but it’s great to hear what you think of the art!
So, I’m sorry, yes, I occasionally listen to your conversations, but it’s great to hear what you think of the art! I remember hearing a father and his young son discuss the labels of numerous pieces as they slowly made their way throughout the galleries. I smile when I hear visitors gasp in amazement at the Leaf Masquerade (Koro) costumes in the video.
Along with data from in-depth interviews, all of this information will help to influence future changes to the gallery and will shed light on how the Museum’s visitors are enjoying, using, and learning from the collection.
Stop by the interactive gallery during the Threads of Africa celebration on Saturday, September 23, or any time the Museum is open.
While I talk with visitors and make sure that the space is restocked and tidy, I also end up teaching children how to embroider or weave. I make it a point to encourage as many adults to participate as I can. It’s always the ones who think it’s not their “thing” who end up staying for an hour! As my goal is to work in museum education, it's been wonderful to see what’s working—and what we can improve on—for the adults and families enjoying our new galleries.
If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit, test your creativity, and learn something new. Just don’t mind me.