The Wyeth Foundation for American Art has awarded Plains Art Museum
a grant of $8,000 for use in its educational outreach programming. The grant provides significant help to the Museum as it develops and delivers three outreach projects:
• “PlainsArt” Case program, including distribution to schools in North Dakota and Minnesota communities where access to original art may be limited.
• “Learning Posters” of artworks in the Museum’s collection for classroom use and display.
• Web site development featuring images from the Museum’s permanent collection, curriculum materials, other educational resources and interactive activities that promote learning.
The cases and posters will be available in the 2009/10 school year. Both are curriculum tools based on art and artists in the Museum’s permanent collection. Both tools are carefully designed to be useful to schools and community groups in enhancing understanding and enjoyment of the arts, even when the services of an art teacher are not available.
Receipt of the Wyeth Foundation grant puts Plains Art Museum into the company of such institutions as the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the MIT Visual Arts Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Museum received the Wyeth grant to support the development of its Outreach Program on American Art for underserved K through 12 teachers and students in rural regions and small towns. The project will further the knowledge and interpretation of 20th and 21st -century American art, the focus of the collection at the Museum. In particular, this project will focus on Native American art and culture, using works by David Bradley, an artist of Ojibwe and Dakota tribal heritage. After the Bradley project is developed and implemented, the Museum will continue to expand its offerings to cover other artists in its collection.
The grant also allows the Museum to develop, test and implement an expanded educational Web site and conduct audience research to determine the most effective program the Museum can offer to rural North Dakota and Minnesota in the future.
In addition to North Dakota and Minnesota, the region served by the Museum includes South Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. Over the years, the Museum has provided various outreach services to the region including artcases, Learning Posters, other curriculum materials and the Rolling Plains Art Gallery. Rolling Plains was a semi trailer that traveled with original artwork and an artist educator to rural communities from 1993 until 2008 when it ceased operations due to its age, condition and increasing transportation costs.