RAAMP Video Practicum: Integrating Curricula and Exhibitions

Issa Lampe, Director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial​ Affairs, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, and Berit Ness, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, present the exhibition series “Smart to the Core” at the Smart Museum of Art in connection with the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry and courses at the University of Chicago.

Also featuring John Kelly, Christian W. Mackenauer Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, Jessica Kirzane, Lecturer at the University of Chicago, and David Levin, Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, and Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts at the University of Chicago.

My Gallery is Bigger Than Your Gallery | Recording and Resources


On Thursday, November 21 at 2 pm (EST), Michael Dickins presented on the campus plan he has devised for the New Gallery at Austin Peay University.

Faced with limited storage space on campus, Dickins started a program (with strict parameters) to share the permanent collection with the campus community, while also creating an educational opportunity for Austin Peay students. With the permanent collection at their disposal, Dickin’s undergraduate student workers curate exhibitions to hang in department spaces.

For each exhibition, students write a curatorial statement, labels, and record an audio guide segment for each work that visitors can access through the app, Guide-by-Cell.

In his presentation, Dickins shares images of the finished exhibitions, and, as an open book, shares his trials, tribulations, and successes he encountered while running this campus plan program.

Benefits of this program, according to Michael Dickins:

  • Gets artwork into public sphere instead of hidden in storage (which ours is not large enough to house our collection)
  • Allows for academic buildings to look less ‘institutional’
  • Artwork only goes in spaces accessible to the public (NOT offices) – as it is a collection at a public university and needs to be accessible to the public.
  • Artwork gets installed on OUR schedule as myself and assistants have other duties.
  • Gives students experience in curating, installing, labeling, cataloguing in database, art handling, etc. – plus writing a curatorial statement.
  • This informs the occupants of said space that this is a teaching/education opportunity and not just decorating.

Future Events

Michael Dickins will be presenting at CAA’s Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 12: Is that Unprofessional? When Artists Curate, alongside our September Coffee Gathering host, Meredith Lynn.

Articles and Documents

Austin Peay Students Discover Work from Two Major Artists in University’s Collection

The New Gallery Collections Management Policy

View PDF

How Time Spent in an Art Museum Can Improve Medical Students’ Skills

Each year, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia hosts a two hour “Clinician’s Eye” workshop for second-year medical students. The workshop allows medical students to work on their observational skills and practice gathering clues to formulate decisions.

Curator M. Jordan Love, medical humanities professor Marcia Childress, and docent coordinator Emily Lazaro worked with students throughout this workshop.

Childress argued, “In a museum setting, we can slow down that process for them. It helps build reflexes they will need in a clinical setting, when they have to react and learn very quickly.” [UVA Today]

RSVP to our next Coffee Gathering: My Gallery is Bigger Than Your Gallery

On Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 PM (EST) RAAMP will be in conversation with Michael Dickins, the curator and director of The New Gallery at Austin Peay State University. He will talk about the campus plan he created which enables him to share the gallery’s collection in the university’s community spaces.

“My formal gallery is 1500 square feet,” writes Dickins. “My actual gallery is 186 acres of surrounding campus. I list my Gallery as my primary residence, but the rest of my campus is my second home, or better yet, a cultured land that includes some of my favorite vacationing spots.”

“I often use academic buildings, student common areas and the campus landscape to install works of art to not just boost the presence of the Department of Art+Design around campus, but as extensions of the gallery to educate students and the campus community about art and to generate conversations. These installations of artworks have bred collaboration between departments, administration and, more importantly, the facilities and grounds crews.  They have also been excellent teaching opportunities for my students to learn about curating, installation, collaboration and managing red tape.”

Michael Dickins earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and a BFA from Georgia Southern University. His work has been exhibited throughout the Southeastern U.S. as well as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, San Diego, Portland; Augusta, Maine, Istanbul and Berlin. He has twice been a featured artist at {Re}Happening at Black Mountain College and has received commissions from the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company for original sound score and projection design.

He currently lives and works in Clarksville, Tennessee and is the Curator and Director of The New Gallery and University Collections at Austin Peay State University.

As Director of The New Gallery, Dickins has curated numerous exhibitions by Wendy Red Star, Valery Estabrook, Stephen Hayes, Andrew Blanchard, Michi Meko, Yvette Cummings, Gamaliel Rodriguez and many others. His upcoming projects include exhibitions by Jiha Moon, Laura Splan, Rahelah Filsoofi and Peter Precourt.

His role as a curator in a university setting is to provide diverse programming that is visually appealing, physically engaging and intellectually challenging to the university and surrounding communities. “As a gallery director, it is my privilege to provide a safe space for artists to experiment with their craft, engage with the public, and participate in a dialogue on issues of social, cultural and political identity that is welcoming and accessible to the public.”

To RSVP to this Coffee Gathering, please email Olivia Knauss at oknauss@collegeart.org.

Our Coffee Gatherings are hosted on Skype for Business. All participants who have RSVP’d will receive via email a link in advance to attend the session. Once you receive the link, you may join the conversation to test the Skype for Business application. Please use this same link when you are ready to join the scheduled date and time for the Coffee Gathering.

Please note the Coffee Gatherings are recorded and uploaded for future viewing.

We kindly request that you turn off your microphone during the conversation; however, you may keep your camera on if you wish.

University of Chicago Students Make Acquisition for Smart Museum

With the input of ten undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art acquired several three new works of art from Viennacontemporary, Austria’s largest art fair. The fair founder, Dmitry Aksenov, invited the Smart Museum of Art to bring a group of students to choose works from the fair to add to the museum’s permanent collection.

Gearing up to the trip, the students read and discussed scholarship about the art market and fairs with Smart Museum staff members. They also researched the Smart’s collection. Art history graduate student Maggie Hire said that they were “especially interested in considering the ways in which a work of art would dialogue with other artworks from the collection and how that dialogue might promote learning moments.” [The Chicago Maroon]


University of Michigan Museum of Art Brings Robots to the Art World

The University of Michigan Museum of Art and the university’s Robotics Institute are developing a robot that can organically converse as a docent with visitors, responding to questions and facilitating a deeper conversation about the artwork on view.

John Turner, UMMA’s senior manager of museum technology, stated “I think what we’re really trying to do is figure out how humanities-based collecting organizations like museums can become central research hubs for engineering projects more relevant to society at large.” [University of Michigan]

Short-Term Collections-Based Fellowships at Yale University

Short-term Collections-based Fellowships

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music invites applications for Short-term Collections-based fellowships at Yale University to research the aural, material, visual, ritual, and textual cultures of religions. These fellowships are designed for, and restricted to, research taking place in Yale’s non-circulating collections, which span virtually every age and region of the world and are among the deepest and widest-ranging of any university. Examples of Yale’s non-circulating collections include materials in the Collection of Musical Instruments, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Divinity School Library, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music is an interdisciplinary center where scholars and artists engage in academic and creative work across a variety of fields at the intersection of religion and the arts. Each year the Institute brings a diverse group of Short-term Fellows to Yale to pursue interdisciplinary research in Yale collections for a period of one to three months. The Short-term Collections-based Fellowship application is due on November 1, 2019, for fellowships beginning in Summer 2020. The ISM provides a grant toward round-trip travel from the candidate’s home to New Haven and an honorarium to cover living expenses. More information and the application can be found at https://ism.yale.edu/fellowships/short-term-collections-based-fellowships. For questions, please contact the ISM Fellows Coordinator at ismfellows@yale.edu.

The Yale ISM also offers Long-term fellowships for the length of the academic year for scholars with independent and interdisciplinary research projects. More information can be found at https://ism.yale.edu/fellowships/long-term-fellowships.