It’s been really exciting to work on the development of this new offering for families. Being part of the MCA Artist Educator team is always stimulating and offers up new perspectives and opportunities to think about how to engage with our Collection in dynamic ways that are beneficial across all our education programs and to all our visitors.
This year there has been a really strong focus on ensuring our Kids & Families programs are accessible to everyone. The assistance of an Auslan interpreter across all our kids and families programs has been an exciting addition to our already fun-filled events. All the Artist Educators, children and relatives loved learning the signs for ‘Wild Thing’ when we read the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are during story time in our recent Family Fun Day.
Although we offer many hands-on art-making workshops for families in the National Centre for Creative Learning, we really wanted to create an opportunity for Artist Educators to work directly with families in the Gallery. In the Gallery our number one rule is ‘Please don’t touch the artwork!’, so I have been building a collection of tactile objects and resources that are all about touching and engaging our other senses alongside the visual, inviting families to take part in a multisensory exploration of the works.
During the development of this program we have gathered feedback from families and consulted with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). This research has helped shape the program and, as with all of our Kids & Families programs, we will tailor each tour to the access and support needs of each family.
During a recent Bella program, I was most inspired by a participant who shared with me what he could see in one of the new collection artworks. After further inquiry, I could also imagine what he was seeing and was so excited to see the work in a way I had not considered previously. As an artist and educator I am often excited about seeing the world in new ways and from diverse and unique perspectives.
These new tours offer an invitation for even further accessibility to our collection and museum while celebrating everyone’s ability to be able to engage and offer their responses to the work.
These FREE Tactile Tours will be running 10.30–11.30am and 1–2pm Tuesday 4 – Saturday 9 October. Tours have been designed for children aged 4 – 12 years and their grown-ups. Support for family members with physical, intellectual, learning and sensory access requirements will be available during the program. Some sessions are already booked out, so make sure book your spot today.
Brook Morgan is a Sydney based artist and educator who has had a fascination with the details found within nature since a young child. Collecting, sorting and arranging found materials, noting small differences and assembling them according them to their characteristics whilst creating elaborate stories to accompany her built miniature environments. This curiosity and pleasure has continued to inform Morgan’s practice as she continues to collect, sort and arrange the materials that surround her.
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In the Gallery our number one rule is ‘Please don’t touch the artwork!’, so I have been building a collection of tactile objects and resources that are all about touching and engaging our other senses alongside the visual
MCA Artist Educator, Brook Morgan
Before coming to the MCA in 2011, Amanda could be found developing and delivering family programs at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest. In her current role Amanda works with practicing artists to create engaging programs and resources that connect young children with contemporary art, culture and ideas via creative learning strategies that encourage experimentation and collaboration. Amanda was born in Sydney where she has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Teaching and Graduate Certificate in Art Administration.