Preparing for your visit to the Museum
You can familiarize your students with the different types of museums.
- There are art, science, history, architecture and other museums.
- A possible class project could involve exploring the websites of the main museums in Montréal. What are the specific features of these museums?
- You could note the differences between a museum of fine arts and a museum of contemporary art.
- You could discuss the notion of time; contemporary art is in tune with its time.
You could raise more specific questions about the MAC.
- Where is the MAC located?
- How are we going to get there?
- What do we do in a museum of contemporary art?
- What can we see there?
- What will the procedure be for our outing?
You can also prepare the students for the content of an exhibition or the work of an artist.
Please note, however, that the art workshops at the MAC follow preset themes and cannot focus on the artist of your choice. The best idea is to check the list of workshop themes before selecting one.
As well, the tours often cover more than one exhibition and different artists. However, we can pause or spend some time in front of a work you have chosen from our current exhibitions if you specify this when reserving.
In our opinion, the simplest and most effective preparatory activity is just to encourage your students to enjoy seeing and closely observing a work of art in order to discover all its various aspects.
- Project an image or display a poster of a contemporary artwork.
- Ask the class the following questions: What do we see here? What is going on? Paraphrase the students’ answers.
- Then ask: What do you see in the image/work/sculpture that makes you say that?
- After a while, add the question: Do you see anything else?
These very simple questions do not require in-depth knowledge, but foster close observation of formal and visual elements, help develop self-confidence and the ability to “see,” and get the dialogue rolling.
The tour process involves exchanging ideas, asking questions and participating in discussion.
This technique is inspired by the VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) approach. To find out more about this method, you are invited to check the following website: vtshome.org.