Faculty FocusTour : Chelsea Jennings

Laurie Anderson. The Package. Bobbs Merrill, 1971. Courtesy the artist.
Laurie Anderson. The Package. Bobbs Merrill, 1971. Courtesy the artist.

Come to the Henry today for this month’s Faculty Focus Tour with Chelsea Jennings! At noon Jennings will lead a a 30 minute tour of Collected Stories: Books by Laurie Anderson.

Chelsea Jennings received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in English. She has published in the Madison Review, Poet Lore, the Bridport Prize Anthology, and Best New Poets 2007, among others.

Last quarter, Jennings taught ENGL 200: Reading Lit Forms and focused on the Visual Page & the Material Book. Jennings challenges how we read books, looking at the visual surface and material pages as it relates to the literary meaning within the text. Her exploration of books as an art aligns with the with of Lori And

erson in Collected Stories: Books by Laurie Anderson. Anderson’s exhibition looks at her interest in storytelling, drawing, and technology. Her work explores, quite similarly to Jennings class, book format and explored it in a variety of media ranging from handmade and traditionally bound works on paper to audio and electronic formats.

Jennings will lead a tour today at noon of Collected Stories: Books by Laurie Anderson as a part of our faculty focus tour, which occurs on the third Wednesday of every month.

High School Exhibition Guide Program

The Edu Team is at it again! We are excited to welcome the next generation of High School Exhibition Guides to the Henry.

Year after year the Henry partners with high schools throughout Seattle to recruit, train and engage high school students in our exhibitions. This year we are partnering with Roosevelt High School and Shorecrest High School to bring over 30 high school students to the museum and provide them with a first hand look into museums, leading inquiry based tours, researching art and supporting the Education Team.

These students are in for a treat with the variety of exhibitions at the Henry : Now Here  is Also Nowhere, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, Pipilotti Rist: A la belle étoile, Collected Stories: Books by Laurie Anderson. Not to mention the exhibition to come….Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing. That’s a ton of art for a ton of high schoolers!

Public tours with our UW Exhibition Guides happen on the Second Wednesday of every month!

Catch our High School Exhibition Guides in the galleries early next year!

Exhibition Guide program, featuring Chelsea Nagayama

The Henry wins things, like the Golden Apple Award in 2011. The Golden Apple Award is given to educators, programs and schools who make a positive difference in Washington. The Exhibition Guide Program at the Henry provides invaluable experiences for both visitors and students, connecting student’ to art community.

What does the Exhibition Guide Program do? Well, the program connects both and high school and university level students to lead unique exhibition driven tours of the Henry. We provide the training that allows them to gain valuable public speaking skills, research opportunities and critical thinking skills. That’s why it won the Golden Apple. What it really does is bring students 16 – 22 into the museum, giving them a really good excuse to learn and discourse about contemporary art. The 10 week course has about 12 students, allowing them to learn how to teach art, engage visitors and develop publicly speaking skills. The best part about it is the interdisciplinary nature of the guides; some are art students, some educators and others science center people who also love art. If you want more information about the guide program email contact-education@henryart.org.

Last year there were 12 graduates from the Exhibition Guide Program and Chelsea Nagayama is a recent graduate that continues to intern at the Henry Art Gallery. As a senior at the University of Washington she is majoring in Painting and Drawing and also taking her Pre-Medicine requirements.  She originally got interested in the program because of the creative environment an art museum provides and being able to teaching kids about art. She has wanted to be a doctor since she was very young, but also feels art is a very important part of her life. She thinks who needs to choose when you can just be Leonardo DaVinci! She also likes to sing in an operatic voice to her tour groups in the Skyspace, which is a permanent installation by James Turrell that has great acoustics. So don’t miss out on an opportunity to see that and come in for a Public Tour!

Catch her on her next tour at the Henry at our Open House on October 26, 2012.

Exhibition Tour Guide Series: Guest blogger Chelsea Nagayama

Sadly, this past Sunday was the final day for the The Record and The B-Side, which exhibited art, influenced and created with records and record sleeves by local Pacific Northwest artists spanning from Portland to Anacortes, respectively. I personally enjoyed the juxtaposition between the B-Side and The Record because the B-Side showed a current perspective of the local music world’s intersection of audio and visual art, while the The Record showed the past and present influence of records on the art world.  It was super great to gain a deeper understanding of records and music culture by the programs set up during the duration of the exhibit. I got see the record cutting process and even got my own record cut by the amazing dude, Mike Dixon, who was doing a residency with his record company PIAPTK Records. Now, I have my own personal one song record cut into Plexiglas.

I led the Youth Advisory Board from the Experience Music Project (EMP), led by the program’s teacher Jonathan Cunningham, during the final week of the exhibit. The Youth Advisory Board is a program that high school aged youth are working together through their passion for music to drive the involvement of their peers at the EMP. This high school aged group was an ideal group because of their invested relationship with music and their youthful perspective of what records mean to a young viewer during the revival of records as a medium for musicians to produce their music.

The EMP student’s will be acting as tour guides for the EMP in the future and actually pulled inspiration for their video wall, which displays music videos of past and present artists. Students jotted down names of local musicians to research so they could create a local perspective for their music video wall display. A theme these bright students really understood was the aspect of time in the exhibit. Time is represented by the ephemeral quality of the record’s vinyl material, the way listeners interact with a record player and how a record must be played through, and the nostalgia and reference to the past records have.

An activity I did with this group, that I encourage you all to do, is to choose a record sleeve of an artist you have never heard before and describe what you think the artist sounds like based on the cover art. Then, play the record and compare your previous thoughts with what you hear. It’s a really interesting activity to understand and consider the dynamic relationship of audio and visual art. The EMP group chose Black Candy. The album cover is black with white messy cursive writing of Black Candy and a quintessential piece of sugary cellophane wrapped candy drawn expressively with squiggles.  The EMP group suggested it would sounds metal, maybe hardcore, and that there was definitely going to be an edge. The sound was less metal and more grunge than they imagined. Go have fun and explore the recently booming record world, or better yet find a gem from the 70’s or 80’s!

I hope you all had the chance to check out The Record and The B-Side because the Henry is sad to see it leave, but new exhibitions Now Here is also Nowhere and Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell are opening on October 26th. The Henry will be having an Open House that night from 7-10 pm for the public, so come out, enjoy art, and party on!