Sunday, 20 October 2013

Werking it

In February this year I managed to get a job and cement myself as a transatlantic museum professional. However, so far all I've managed to do is tell you in Facebook updates that I have gained a new job, but never showed you what. As I approach the week where I say farewell to one job and usher in a new, it felt like the perfect time to do some explaining, along with some adorable photos.

Museum of the Moving Image
This was the job that started it all and was comfortable especially because of its similarity to the BME. Where one was about the music industry, the other is about the movie industry, one has a workshop called Behind the Scenes the other an exhibition called Behind the Screens. It's a fantastic collection that looks at the history of the industry and explores the different jobs that make it up. Sessions and workshops include screenings of classics by the likes of Charlie Chaplin with discussions and movie making 101. It was a great place to get started although it is definitely time to move on. What I'll miss most is gossiping with colleagues in the morning.

Brooklyn Museum 
My next stop is the Brooklyn Museum where I will be the instructor for a program called Meet the Museum for children aged 2-4. This is quite a change for me as it includes art teaching which I've never really done before. I don't have an Art History background so this is a further challenge. However I must be doing something right as the lesson plan I presented at my interview is the first lesson I delivered this week! Below is my colleague Kristin teaching the morning session at the painting I selected by Alma W. Thomas titled Wind, Sunshine and Flowers. We explored colours with a matching game and I taught the children the 'I can sing a rainbow song' (definite learning curve as this song doesn't exist out here). Later we made prints using bubble wrap to mimic the style employed by Thomas. This is more or less the format of all the lessons which I'll have to design on a monthly basis.

New York Historical Society
This job I got back in June, here I run their Little New-Yorkers program for children aged 3-5. The aim is teaching little ones about New York through different themes. We read storybooks that have a link to NYC and then make a craft project based on the overall theme that the book falls into (i.e. Halloween, Spring) or that links in directly to the book. Check out my 3 favourite examples below. This job really keeps me on my toes as I have to create a program on a weekly basis. The best part about this is that there was wiggle room for improvement which will allow me to leave my mark. My plan is to move these sessions into the galleries and add in more art based activities that explore different art processes, all to the delight of my boss. First session will be in November where I'm taking on the meteoric task of explaining Cubism to toddlers...

Monday, 14 October 2013

An ode to Nina

Birds flying high, you know how I feel, this is the opening line of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good', and perfectly summed up my feeling today. Hipster Dufus has a friend/colleague who is a trained pilot and offered to take us to the beautiful Block Island which is part of the U.S state of Rhode Island. This obviously fitting in with Hipster Dufus's need to always get out of the city meant that we jumped at the opportunity. The island itself was your typical quaint, gorgeous, seaside town. Ice cream shops, fudge shops and lots's of nautical related souvenir stores. Nothing particularly new but a perfect escape from the intensity of the city.

The real experience was the flight. I've never been in a little plane and was really scared. But the journey was smooth and Hipster Dufus' friend was an excellent, reassuring pilot. In a little plane the sensation of flying is heightened, if only because you can look out of a window on both sides. On the way back I got to fly in the front! THAT WAS AMAZING. I got to control the plane a little, moving left and right, and trying to maintain the plane level (there were obviously two steering sticks and he was always ready to steer the plane in the right direction). The best part was the view upfront, being able to look directly ahead really felt like you were flying. At one point we punched through some clouds with clear views on the other side. It was incredible. It literally felt like you were flying.

This is the best part of being here, it's the opportunity to have all of these different experiences, exploring new places as well as the people that you meet. As we pulled back into New York greeted with the view of the skyline it really hit us all. This city is amazing, I just feel so blessed to be here. And yeah, I'm feeling really good.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Welcome to Miami

Miami, Miami, Miami. What can I say about it? Those of you who know Becca know her for her amazing wit among other lovely traits and she really put it best. Will Smith didn't mention A LOT about this party city. Admittedly his experience and mine are going to be worlds apart but for the Brits among those reading, Miami had the feel of holidaying in Mallorca. It's a seaside town/resort kind of place. I obviously being the super geek I am, managed to explore three museums in the two days that I was there. The Miami History Museum was really useful in helping to understand the city (it was proud to be the holiday destination of the north, this brought in lot's of tourism so they encouraged it) and particularly for me why all the buildings are in 1920s Art Deco style (the city had a land/property boom in the 20s and so much of the city's development came around that time so it followed the current trend). The really nice thing about the Deco buildings is that they really try not to pull them down, and so it was really funny to come across H&M, 7Eleven and Barney's complete with Deco facades (pictures below).

But... and there's always a downside, this heritage side to the city really is only on South Beach. We stayed in downtown which usually in most city layouts means the city centre or where all the shops are. Not here, downtown was basically where you wouldn't bother going, again for the Brits it was like Tottenham Court Road. Still top hotel and beach time was fantastic.