I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is a mistake on their part. If art were simply about looking at the masterpieces hanging on "their" walls then this would be fine.
Looking at art and understanding it and how it is made are two different things. Most patrons probably spend a max of 1-2 seconds per piece and think "Oh that's nice" and then move along. When people have the opportunity to obtain extended learning about the creation of art they gain a better understanding of how art is made and then they start to spend more time looking at the art.
Even with 2 degrees in art I used to breeze by paintings and drawings in a museum. After returning to school and taking more traditional art courses did I start to slow down and look at the paintings. Taking courses at the museum offered students who ranged from retired to high school age students to get both. They got to learn in-depth from great Pittsburgh art talent and travel into the galleries and look for inspiration or answers to questions that were avoiding them in their artworks. If these instructors were so over-whelmed and not able to creatively develop classes then why are there so many that are unhappy with this decision. If they felt that way, then I never saw it and they hid it very well. What I did see were inspired instructors who loved what they did and enjoyed sharing their information with each student.
A single day workshop is not going to teach anybody anything. They may remember the concept of the class, but will retain very little of the actual information about the art style or the process. I've learned so much from Connie Merriman, Linda Wallen and Bob Bowden that I will be forever greatful. Madelyn Roehrig was always up beat and interested in what each individual student was doing. She would share insights as well and offer suggestions on how to make the artwork even more in depth and personal.
I see these moves by the museum as lazy. There was a basic core group of classes that they could've easily fallen back onto. Painting, drawing, ceramics and then re-built off of them...instead, they cancel all of them. Shame on you.
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