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Blank Canvas

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1: Both the upper and lower entrances are set up the same. Because admission is free there are donation boxes set up for visitors to drop cash or checks into. Security guards man the desks, checking in visitors with cameras, informing visitors of rules and restrictions, and stamping parking passes so parking is free. Entrances are also | equipped with flat screen panels displaying current and upcoming event and membership information. These displays are a great example of collaboration amongst employees. Marketing, program coordinators, IT, and facilities would all have their hands in the maintenance of these displays. I would imagine a financial officer is charged with collecting the money each day and processing it for the museum.

2: After walking up the stairs, you come to a landing which leads to a sculpture garden. The gardens and water pools are maintained by facilities staff. These areas must stay clean and presentable, | especially during the summer when major fundraising events take advantage of this natural area. A curator will decide which pieces to display, but it is up to the | the conservators to keep an eye on the pieces for any signs of damage and take the necessary steps to prevent further deterioration.

3: The visitor and membership services booth serves as a buffer wall for the restaurant and is adjacent to the gift shop. A volunteer sits at the booth waiting to answer questions or even sign visitors up for new memberships. I visited during a busy weekday so the restaurant was packed! I'm sure this is a contract based operation, so I would imagine facilities would help serve as a liaison between restaurant and museum staff.

4: As with many museums, the BMA utilizes its volunteers and interns to staff the gift shop. I also got to see the docent program in action as several school groups came in for tours. Docents go through a year long training program before stepping on the floor. This training is supplemented with guidance from both the education and curatorial staff so docents have the tools and knowledge to give insightful tours.

5: The Education department has two studio spaces for classes and camps and a corner in the galleries devoted to art activities for kids. There is also a small gallery space for a partnership program the museum has with local schools. Kids of all grade levels have the chance to have their artwork displayed in the museum. I can't think of a better way to emphasize the need for and benefit of arts education than this.

6: To my dismay, many gallery walls and cases were empty. Ongoing HVAC work, as signs all over the museum state, has forced them to move more sensitive works back in to a climate safe vault. I'm sure this requires a high level of collaboration between the curatorial staff, conservators, exhibit designers, and facilities staff. I am glad to know, however, that the BMA strives to take the best care of its collections.

7: This has always been one of my favorite pieces in the museum and it has to be a lighting and design feat! The glass shells are always bright and shining. What better way to welcome visitors to a small, but unique museum than with a playful piece that will dazzle and make people ask "How'd they do that?"

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  • By: Megan H.
  • Joined: over 8 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Published: over 8 years ago