International Children's Museum
"You can't just slap paintings on the wall," says Mallory Gaspard, an ESA student. "You have to tell a story." Mallory is referring to a unique project led by ESA art faculty members Jo Faulk and Cathy Mills: the International Children’s Museum.
The 2011 ICM exhibit, “Through the Eyes of India,” was fostered by former ESA faculty members Parvathy Anantnarayan and Matt Pearson. Their children attend the Centre for Learning in Bangalore. Mills contacted Anantnarayan and a partnership grew from there. The ESA students brainstormed about what they wanted to see from the Indian students, and came up with a request: Tell us who you are through your art.
The 2012 exhibit featured art from Escuela Americana, the American School in San Salvador, El Salvador. Two ESA student traveled to El Salvador to meet the student artists and bring the artwork back to Lafayette. Dr. and Mrs. Skipper made the connection for this exhibit; Dr. Skipper served as headmaster at EA for eight years before moving to Louisiana.
ICM is a ground-breaking partnership between ULL’s Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the Episcopal School of Acadiana (http://museum.louisiana.edu/). This program integrates international children’s art with museum science, allowing ESA students to become museum curators for their own art exhibits. The ICM board of directors, school administrators, and faculty interview and appoint an ICM staff from within the ESA student body, including a Director, Assistant Director, Curator, Registrar, Facility Manager and Docents (museum educators). Hilliard staff members educate the ICM student staff about museum management through "job shadowing" and mentoring during four work sessions each year.
Mark Tullos, Director of the Hilliard Museum, explained that "the real focus of this International Children's Museum program is to teach a group of students the professional nature of museum work: establishing a location for an exhibition, organizing an exhibition, presenting the artwork and interpreting the artwork to the visitors.” Tullos added that "the richer part is the international exchange. They're looking at the artwork of children who live in another country with another perspective. That starts another dialogue about who we are and where we live."