A couple of weeks ago, Shawn and I convened the first meeting of the Museum’s academic advisory board. An open group of faculty from across the university, the board was formed in order to make sure that Oklahoma State University faculty beyond the Art Department have the opportunity to learn about the Museum’s progress, contribute to its design, and develop programming related to their coursework. I also hope that in the future the advisory board will help us review museum policies that have an impact on academic affairs.
Our first priority was to get everyone up to speed on the project. Our first meeting therefore involved an introduction to the museum staff, its facilities, our art collection and our current academic programming—which includes our internships, class assignments in studio art, art history, and freshman writing, thesis readings by graduate students in the poetry program, and more. We asked the faculty on the board—from History, Architecture, the Library, Philosophy, and Design, Housing and Merchandising—to spread the word about these opportunities for students, particularly our internships. We also invited them to design their own programming, including future exhibitions.
At the initial meeting, we offered the faculty tours of the Postal Plaza. I am happy to say that showing people the building we are about to renovate is one of my favorite parts of this project. The Postal Plaza, having undergone exploratory demolition, reveals beautiful spaces that are easy to envision as galleries filled with spectacular art, and visitors always leave with a renewed sense of excitement and possibility.
Faculty interested in the advisory board or student internship opportunities can find out more by contacting me (Louise Siddons) or by visiting our website, museum.okstate.edu.