Art on Tour makes stop at West Middleton

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West Middleton is one of a select number of area schools to be selected to participate in the Art on Tour program through the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Five elementary and five middle schools were selected in the Madison area to participate in the 3-year program. Each year the museum takes artwork from their permanent collection and installs them at the schools for a month-long display. There is a different theme each year and this year's theme is Stories in Art.

West Middeton art teacher Marnie Hyland and advanced learning specialist Diane Boles wrote the application. Schools were selected through an application process that demonstrated the ability to secure the works while installed at the school as well as protect them from too much exposure to light, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art curator of education Sheri Castelnuovo said. Consideration was also given to the geographic range of schools in Dane County, school demographics, and to a balance of urban and rural schools, she added.

"Diane brought the program to my attention and I thought it would be great for our students," Hyland said. "I was thrilled when we were selected to participate.''

This year's display was installed last last week. Students are able to study the original works of art up close and in depth. The exhibit will remain at West Middleton for six weeks.

Hyland is particularly excited that students can see the scale, colors and texture of the pieces in person.

Docents will visit all third- and fourth-grade classes over the next week, starting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to facilitate discussions about the artwork, Castelnuovo said. Students will then create their own artwork inspired by these pieces, Hyland said. Selected student artwork will be displayed at the museum.

The docents are very skilled at facilitating questions with the children about the pieces,'' Hyland said. "The students are so incredibly observant and curious. It's fun to hear their questions and comments about the art.''

Hyland said classes will soon start lessons on this year's Art on Tour theme, "Stories in Art."

"The students are always hungry for ways to express themselves,'' she said. "I'm sure they will have some amazing tales to tell through their own artwork.''

Visit the Art on Tour website to learn more.