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‘One of the great things about coming to MUSE is being introduced to works of art I haven’t noticed and linking them to practical work’.
MUSE, a monthly adult art group at the Fitzwilliam Museum, is aimed at independent adult visitors. The sessions provide an introduction to engaging with the collection and special exhibitions as a starting point for using studio art techniques in participants own art work. MUSE aims to encourage participants to try new art materials, offering informal tutoring on techniques and new or different approaches to seeing, thinking, interrupting and representing art and artefacts.
‘Art takes me away from the rest of my life and allows exploration’.
‘I like the informality, discussion, contact and inspiration’.
‘The wonderful skills of all the participants, the supportive atmosphere, meeting others and having a licence to experiment with artistic techniques which helps confidence’.
‘Gives me inspiration and enlarges my interests’
Between May 2014 – April 2015 over 90 visitors participated in 9 MUSE sessions, which included a range of Fitzwilliam Museum exhibition talks and visits, as well as studio workshops in a variety of mixed media. The Museum of Zoology also contributed to a session, providing a handling collection which proved a great stimulus for observational watercolour, ink and pencil art work in the studio.
‘I realised that I love drawing from nature, it is lovely to observe the natural forms … the details, the interconnectedness between art and science’
Visits to a number of the other University of Cambridge Museums are planned for future MUSE sessions, enabling participants to gather ideas and inspiration from other collections as well as experiencing and gaining confidence in engaging with different environments.
With thanks to those in the Fitzwilliam and University Museums who support MUSE, but mostly to the Muse participants for their art exploration, continued engagement and positivity.
The Fitzwilliam Museum offers many opportunities for adult learners, which celebrate the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and gallery redisplays with a complementary and changing programme of varied events. Find out more on the Fitzwilliam website.
Sarah Cate Blake, Education Officer, Fitzwilliam Museum