Category Archives: Education

Help Inform the Future of Play in Pittsburgh


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Two young girls climb on the Lozziwurm play sculpture at Carnegie Museum of Art during The Ultimate Play Day on April 27, 2014 © Carnegie Museum of Art. Photo: Josh Franzos.

Call to Action: Take the Pittsburgh Playability Survey and help Carnegie Museum of Art make the city more playable and family-friendly. 

Play was a central theme of the 2013 Carnegie International, with The Playground Project exhibition and Lozziwurm play sculpture encouraging a larger ongoing discussion about the way we approach childhood, risk, public space, and education. And it’s a topic that remains timely. In a recent segment on NPR, for example, it was reported that time on the playground may be more important than time in the classroom.

“The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain,” Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, told NPR’s Jon Hamilton. “And without play experience,” he said, “those neurons aren’t changed.” Continue reading

Calling All Educators!


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Carnegie Museum of Art’s annual Evening for Educators on November 12 is a chance for the museum to engage and celebrate with classroom teachers and educators from around Pittsburgh. This is one of my favorite times of year, it’s such a great opportunity to mingle and talk shop!

Each year I work with my team to plan a range of opportunities for educators to engage with the permanent collection and special exhibitions, as well as network, experiment with art materials, and relax.

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Exploring the 2013 Carnegie International during one of our professional development workshops for teachers

This year the focus is on the 2013 Carnegie International. This exhibition is exciting and unique to Pittsburgh, and it’s fun to remind everyone that even New Yorkers “[envy] the people of the Steel City, who get to have it at their doorstep for the next five months.” International co-curator Daniel Baumann will kick off the event, and we are providing dinner and drinks—sometimes the best ideas for projects and collaboration happen over food and wine.

We’ll also be offering interactive tours of the International exhibition, an opportunity for everyone to encounter contemporary art by 35 artists from 19 countries. This exhibition is full of powerful, challenging, and beautiful ideas that we’re sure will resonate with teachers; it’s art that can change the way we think about our world.

At 6:30 p.m., everyone will head to the Music Hall to hear Braddock-based artist collaborative Transformazium discuss their views on creative engagement and the Art Lending Collection developed for the International. These three women have brought the museum and art out into their community—and their community into the museum. We hope that this can inspire the same kinds of exchanges between schools and our museum.

We hope see many of you there! Register by calling 412.622.3288 or online.

Sign up for The Art Connection—it’s not too late!


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On the first day of The Art Connection, the 6th-grade students began life-size, abstract self-portraits inspired by the drawings of the late Chinese artist Guo Fengyi, currently on view in the 2013 Carnegie International. As they draw in colored pencil and oil pastel on large sheets of paper, the students use line and mark making to express thoughts, emotions, memories, and functions of the body.

This year’s Art Connection is off to an exciting start! Students arrived to a museum transformed, with bold new work from around the globe spilling out from the galleries into unexpected places. Classes will explore and discuss new works of the 2013 Carnegie International, a process sure to spark inspiration and critical thinking. The International’s theme of “play” provides added engagement to set the wheels of creativity in motion. The Art Connection’s art studio environment encourages students to experiment, play and practice in the process of developing creative ideas. Professional artist educators and experienced assistants work with students to encourage collaboration and to help each student gain confidence in developing their artistic voice.

This year’s Art Connection has just begun, and it’s not too late to sign up for young artists in grades 5 through 9. Artists including Andy Warhol, Duane Michals, and Philip Pearlstein all got their start in our Saturday art classes—but you can develop your unique style and vision through your art! Check out this video to see what the program’s all about:

New Hire: Hattie Lehman


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What is your official title and what are some of your general responsibilities?
Program coordinator, adult group programs. My main responsibilities are focused around the CMOA Docent Corps. Along with Becky Gaugler (assistant curator of education, programs for student & adult groups), I work to prepare docents to give the best experience possible to all participants of docent-led tours. I also work to expand and strengthen adult audiences and assist with new adult programming.

What were you doing before joining us at CMOA?
I was the assistant curator of education at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, for the past 4 years. As a member of a two-person education department, I was responsible for a whole lot of everything, but focused primarily on youth and family programming and outreach.

What’s your favorite exhibition that you saw this past year?
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design; 1848–1900 at The National Gallery of Art. The brotherhood’s ability to so richly depict textiles on a two-dimensional surface knocks my socks off every time, I can’t help it!

If you could steal one artwork from our collection, what would it be?

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Bruce Talbert, designer, British, 1838–1881; Gillow and Company, manufacturer, British, c.1730–1987; Side cabinet, 1867, walnut with walnut veneer, multi wood inlay, and brass; Berdan Memorial Trust Fund

Bruce James Talbert’s Side cabinet, manufactured by Gillow & Company, 1867. It is breathtaking.

Describe Pittsburgh in five words or less.
Friendliest place I’ve ever lived.

Favorite hobbies? Timewasters? Etc.?
I like to write letters the old-fashioned way, with paper, pens, envelopes and stamps. I will happily tackle any textile-related project and love my sewing machine. I enjoy time outside: in a garden, camping, or just walking around.

A New Scarf for Dippy


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Last week the Carnegie Museum of Art showed up at Tee Rex Syndicate with a very special project for students of Elroy Elementary School’s Art Connections program: creating a brand new, 2013 Carnegie International scarf for our beloved Dippy the Dinosaur.

Students in the program were led through all stages of the silk-screening process by Tee Rex’s very own Brad Towell. They later used this knowledge to help create the scarf Dippy will be wearing to usher in the 2013 Carnegie International, opening Saturday, October 5, 2013. The students also created their own limited edition t-shirts for the exhibition and learned more about the show and the Lozziwurm play structure (currently located at the front of Carnegie Museum of Art) from International co-curator Daniel Baumann.