Education Initiative Brings Curated Works Off Gallery Walls and Into Classrooms
The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is proud to announce the launch of the Portable Gallery, a new education initiative designed to provide students with greater access to contemporary art by bringing exceptional art by working artists to local K-12 schools. The Portable Gallery is available to visit schools in Forsyth County, where SECCA is located, and seven surrounding counties, free of charge to teachers, students, and schools.
The 2021 Portable Gallery was made possible with generous grants from Truist Foundation and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County.
"This new outreach initiative is easy to use and a perfect vehicle for introducing students to new ideas and perspectives," says Alexander Brown, Director of Programs & Audience Engagement at SECCA. "The ever-expanding collection also features works by artists representative of North Carolina's diverse communities, giving every student an opportunity to see works made by professional artists who look like them and who have shared lived experiences."
To schedule a visit from the Portable Gallery, teachers simply fill out this Google Form to initiate a conversation with Alexander Brown. Depending on the class curriculum, teachers can select up to three works from the Portable Gallery collection to travel to their classrooms. SECCA's education team will work with teachers to develop experiences and activities around the artwork that align with their curriculum, while also placing a strong focus on student-driven discussions.
INNOVATING ARTS EDUCATION
SECCA's focus on exhibiting artworks representative of the community, combined with free admission and an emphasis on arts integration, have helped the organization build and maintain a strong relationship with schools, teachers, and students throughout the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School District.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, SECCA focused on funding travel for Title I schools that could not afford the transportation expenses that would make it possible for students to take advantage of SECCA's free education programs. Now, still facing the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools have minimized or suspended field trips for the foreseeable future in the interest of safety, causing even more students to miss out on the opportunity to visit a museum and experience contemporary art in firsthand. The Portable Gallery overcomes this challenge by bringing inclusive and revelatory works of art off the gallery walls and straight into the classroom.
The Portable Gallery isn't intended to only visit art classrooms, either. SECCA hopes the project will make its way into classrooms where math, science, social studies, literature, and other subjects are taught, crossing perceived boundaries and bridging the divide between art and broader academic pursuits.
The Portable Gallery made its debut on Friday, October 1 at Smith Farm Elementary School, where students and teachers were struck by the unique and memorable experience. Read more via Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Beyond the obvious education benefits, SECCA hopes to make a positive impact on the local creative economy with the Portable Gallery. The works available in the Portable Gallery have all been purchased from local artists at full asking price. Thus far, all nine works are by artists who have previously exhibited in SECCA's Southern Idiom series, an ongoing exhibition series celebrating Winston-Salem artists. SECCA plans to do an open call to the community for submissions in January 2022, when the next round of art purchases will take place for the Portable Gallery.
"SECCA has a responsibility to help power the creative economy, and we can do that by directly supporting working artists, teachers, and students," says William Carpenter, Executive Director at SECCA. "The Portable Gallery is an innovative, scalable project that can have a positive influence on thousands of students each year."
The Portable Gallery is currently scheduling visits to local schools for the remaining 2021 school year and spring 2022 semester. To schedule the Portable Gallery for a visit to a K-12 school in Forsyth, Davidson, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties, please fill out this Google Form.
For questions and inquiries, please contact Alexander Brown at .