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Week 4 Insights

24 May

Hello again!

Now that I’ve completed all of the grade 4-12 lesson plans (which should be up on the MIA’s website sometime next week, so keep an eye out for them!), I’ve been primarily focused on producing supplemental in-class resources. One way to bring the “museum experience” to the classroom is to have informative and interactive materials for teachers to implement and tailor to their students’ needs.

The MIA has long embraced technology as part of its mission to promote educational awareness of Inuit art and serve the local community. Above all, accessibility remains a cornerstone of each project undertaken by the institution and my work here is no exception. Similarly, my teaching practice and education at OISE have reinforced the need for technology-driven learning in order to adequately respond to students with diverse needs.

Teachers are encouraged to use all available media to enhance their lessons and help students make a connection to the artist and their artwork prior to coming to the museum for a visit. For instance, the origin stories of the Inuit Sea Goddess (commonly referred to as Sedna, however there are many different names for her) have been a source of inspiration for many Inuit artists. Although they vary from region to region in the Arctic, they ultimately conclude with the young girl falling victim to a rather violent severing of her fingers, which later transform into sea mammals. By giving students an opportunity to explore various interpretations of the Inuit Sea Goddess, they come away with a better understanding of the diversity and complexity of the Inuit culture.

Screen capture of Grade 11/12 Visual Arts slideshow

It’s also important for teachers to elevate the classroom discussion and enable students to dispel inaccurate notions or misconceptions about the Inuit in Canada. The goal should be to build an enduring understanding and respect, and what better way to connect to another community than by exploring the different forms and styles of Inuit art.

Screen capture of Grade 9 Native Studies slideshow

This was just a preview of what’s to come. I’ll be back with my final post next week to wrap up my internship!

- Posted by: Aviva German, MIA’s Educational Intern

Updates from Week 2

10 May

The second week of internship has just flown by. I’m already at the halfway point and thus far, my experience at the MIA has been really positive and fulfilling. All the research time I’ve put in has rewarded me with great ideas for teacher resources (some of which I hope to use myself in the future!).

While I haven’t had as much time to delve into hands-on activities at the museum, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do so this Saturday, May 11th, as part of MAP Family Saturdays at Toronto Public Libraries (TPL)! MAP (Museum + Arts Pass)  allows families (2 adults and up to 5 children)  to explore many of Toronto’s best cultural and artistic sites for free! You can request a pass for you and your family at any TPL branch.

MAP Family Saturdays at TPL

This Saturday, however, I’m bringing the museum experience directly to Downsview Public Library (2793 Keele St. at Wilson Ave.) for kids’  hands-on activities They’ll have a chance to see and touch some museum artifacts, play a few traditional Inuit games, and make their own clay sculpture. It should be a great time for kids, parents, and art lovers alike, so if you’re in the neighbourhood, come on by!

- Posted by: Aviva German, MIA’s Educational Intern

Explore the Realities of Living in the Modern Arctic this March Break at MIA

3 Mar
Inuit community of Pangnirtung

Inuit community of Pangnirtung

This March Break the Museum of Inuit Art is exploring the realities of living in the modern Canadian Arctic through four interactive stations (one to represent each Inuit land claim area in Canada) located throughout the museum.

Every family will be issued a passport to explore the Museum of Inuit Art in new, multi-sensory ways while challenging perceptions of the Arctic.

Activities to enjoy:

  • Get hands on with our teaching collection at our feel-box station. Learn about properties of the materials being used by Inuit artists and how this impacts the art being produced in the Arctic today.
  • Can you dance like a polar bear or run like a muskox? Show us your moves while learning animal names in Inuktitut in the Museum of Inuit Art’s version of ‘Simon Says’.
  • Learn about the differences in food costs and diets in the Arctic and Southern Canada at the MIA land claim grocery store.
  • What makes your neighbourhood unique? Make comparisons between your community and those in the Arctic. Through exploration of prints and postcards, learn about population size, temperature, and infrastructure available in Inuit communities.

As you complete the activities, be sure to get your passport stamped! If you have your passport stamped at all four interactive stations, you are eligible for a $5 discount on a family membership. Your name will also be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift certificate from Loblaws-Queens Quay!

DATES: March 9 to March 17
TIME: 12 PM to 4 PM
PRICE: Free with Museum Admission (Adults $5, Students/Seniors $3, Children 12 and under FREE)

We are still looking for volunteers for this event. If you are interested in lending a helping hand, please email volunteer@miamuseum.ca.

-Lindsay Bontoft, MIA’s Public Programming and Development Coordinator

Family Stories Through Wallhangings

10 Feb

A little girl learns how to sew with plastic needles and a foam board.

As a public institution, we are always looking for new ways to really engage with our community and get to know our visitors. We publish Playing Favourites blogs where visitors explain what attracted them to certain works of art, we live Tweet during speaker events and artist demonstrations, we’ve also recorded video interviews so artists can personally interpret their own work and give a first hand account of experiences and motivations.

And while we think we have done a pretty solid job in terms of writing and speaking, this upcoming Family Day is going to emphasize telling a narrative through hand crafted imagery.

Beginning Feb 16th-18th MIA is pleased to host a series of family programming revolving around the exhibit Stories From my Grandmother: Irene Avaalaaqiaq, in order for families to tell their stories through wall hangings.

Facilitated by our fantastic group of Arts Assistants, as part of museum admission visitors will be able to construct wall hangings that represent a favourite trip, fond childhood memory or any other story they feel represents an important family memory. Plastic sewing needles and yarn help make the experience fun and safe for the younger family members and everyone can take the hangings home to proudly share with friends.

To inspire budding artists, we’ll be displaying a few of the wall hangings we have in our collection and complimentary admission lets visitors explore the museum to find our textile exhibition featuring more works by Irene Avaalaaqiaq.

We’re also going to be creating a larger, collaborative textile-based wall hanging that encompasses community involvement and revolves around the theme of community and how family connects us. Individuals can contribute a piece to this wall hanging by cutting out a design from available fabric provided by King Textiles. Staff and volunteers will embroider the pieces onto the wall hanging so you don’t have to worry about threading tiny needles or poking your fingers. (If you’d like to volunteer, be sure to check out our past blog).

This collaborative piece will be on display in the museum throughout Heritage Week (Feb 19-24) and for those who don’t see themselves as  the sewing sort, they’ll be able to write their own comments and reactions next to the piece on our paper covered walls.

So put your thinking caps on, grab some family members and start reminiscing about those good ol’ times! We’ll see you for Family Day fun!

Posted by Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

MIA Crafts for Doors Open Toronto

29 May

MIA Kids making inuksuit in the museum’s M. and G. Theil Education Centre.

Narwhals, and walruses, and seals, oh no! MIA arts assistants led the collaborative crafts project for this year’s Doors Open Toronto. MIA Kids constructed Arctic animals, igloos, and inuksuit from modelling clay and paper, and then helped us decorate our Arctic landscape. There were lots of fabulous creations! Here’s a look completed project:

Our nearly finished Arctic landscape. Looks great!

Thanks to all the MIA Kid’s who participated in this fantastic project. The museum  provides drawing materials in the M. and G. Theil Education Centre throughout the week, so come by anytime and participate in our Monthly Drawing Contest. Arts and crafts are led by MIA’s arts assistants every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm.

Posted by Emma Ward, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer 

Crafts at MIA

25 May

Everyone at MIA is looking forward to the Doors Open Toronto event at Queens Quay Terminal. MIA’s volunteers are busy preparing for the event in our Education Centre. Inspired by the ivory miniatures and camp scene sculptures in the MIA exhibit, our creative arts assistants are constructing an arctic landscape for a special MIA Kid’s collaborative activity! Kids will have the opportunity to contribute to this project by designing their own arctic animals, snow houses, inuksuks, kayaks, and igloos from modeling clay and paper.

Emily Pangnilik Iluitok’s “Winter Scene: With Dog Sleds and Igloos”, Kugaaruk (Pelly Bay), made from stone, ivory, leather, hide and sinew, from the MIA Collection.

MIA Arts Assistants preparing the arctic landscape and practicing their crafts projects for Doors Open Toronto.

There will be lots to do and see at Toronto’s Harbourfront this weekend, so come on over, get inspired, and add to our Arctic environment! At the end of the DOT weekend, MIA will be sharing pictures of the finished landscape! Check out the excellent creations or show us your creative side and join in – everyone is welcome to add to our collaborative project. Learn more about what MIA is for Door Open Toronto here.

The Museum of Inuit Art offers drawing materials in our Education Centre daily, and crafts led by MIA’s arts assistants are offered every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm!

Posted By Emma Ward, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Congratulations Drawing Contest Winners!

1 Oct

Congratulations to our monthly drawing contest winners for September!

Amelie, 7, Rock Man:

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Sandra, 4, Love For Inuit Art:

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Maximus, 10, Nunavut:
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If you’d like to participate, come to MIA and submit your drawing!!
-Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Educational Coordinator

 

Monthly Drawing Contest Winners

1 Sep

Congratulations to this month’s drawing contest winners! If you’d like to participate, please submit a drawing during your next visit to the museum.

Arnav, 7, The Inuit And the Igloo

Brianna, 10, The Sea’s Delight

Nulash, 10, Thunder Storm

-Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Educational Coordinator

MIA Monthly Drawing Contest Winners: August

5 Aug

Congratulations to this month’s drawing contest winners:

"Mommy and Me" by Angel, 8

"Fish Supper Under the Northern Lights" by Abigail, 12

"Protection" by Sienna, 15

Our drawing contest is open to everyone, so if you’d like to participate feel free to submit a drawing during your next visit!

-Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Educational Coordinator

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