This summer, I basically have the coolest job ever. I get to make art, play with kids at summer camp, and learn what it takes for a non-profit museum to operate and function successfully in Columbus – what could be better?
My name is Marly Coldiron, and I am a graduate student working toward my Master’s degree in Arts Policy and Administration, with a specialization in Museum Administration and Education – also known as the world’s longest degree name! This summer, I am working with Ohio Designer Craftsman and the Ohio Craft Museum, which is both a membership and support program for Ohio artists and a museum that showcases fine craft from the state and around the world. You can learn about the amazing work they do by visiting their website. My main project will be working with the Young Masters summer camp and the Teen Summer workshops as a sort of logistical/operations manager, but I also get to design and teach my own art lessons, and assist with anything else the Education department (or anyone else!) can throw at me.
I spent the first part of the week going to orientation and meeting the other Fellows, getting settled, trying to remember everyone’s names (!!), getting supplies ready for camp, and beginning to plan my own lessons. I have a giant Pinterest board going with all my lesson ideas and supply lists, and spent several hours digging through bins of supplies, organizing fabric scraps, and searching for foam craft stamps online (they’re surprisingly hard to find!). Camp doesn’t start for a couple of weeks, so I have some time to get organized and to decide what I want to teach.
The big event this week is our table at the Columbus Arts Festival. In the Hands-On Art area, children and their families can participate in art activities and make their own projects to take home. At the Ohio Craft Museum table, I helped children make “wearable collages” by adding feathers, sequins, patterned paper, and other fun items to clear name badges.
Our presence at the festival is a great way to reach out the community and let people know what the Ohio Craft Museum has to offer. Many people who stopped by had never heard of the museum before, so I was really excited that I could give them some information, a brochure or two, and a personal invitation to come visit the gallery. And it was so great to see kids excited about making art! All day I saw kids proudly wearing their collage badges, and showing off their other projects and masterpieces they created.
Volunteers and I will be manning the table all weekend, so if you are at the festival, stop by and say hello! If this week is any indication of what the rest of the summer will be like, I know that I am in for an amazing experience! Bring it on 🙂