Jill Tichenor assists a student, as another watches during a Painting with Pastels Workshop.
I remember being so excited to visit art museums when I was a kid. There were always new discoveries to be made, and my imagination was allowed to run wild. It was not just about going to see the art in the galleries, but about meeting the artists who made them, and learning how to make art. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to spend my life involved in the arts, which led me on a path to becoming the Director of Education at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art.
Working at an art museum means not only educating people about art but inspiring them to create. I have now worked at the AKMA for six years, experiencing a variety of responsibilities. While much of my position is about planning and correspondence, I feel fortunate to participate in art classes as well as teach them. There has been an increase in class attendance since the pandemic, which has shown how much of a need there is for people to be a part of the art community.
Many visitors share stories of how museum visits impacted their lives. Understanding the value museums bring to their community they volunteer their time and talents. The possibilities for volunteers are endless. Working events, teaching workshops, gardening, organizing, fundraising and docents giving tours are just some of the ways volunteers give their support. You can become a vital part of your local museum too.
The AKMA offers a variety of art classes for all ages taught by professional artists with wide-ranging backgrounds. The museum is offering more art workshops than ever before. From beginners to professional artists in a self-guided studio, everyone is welcome to join us and continue their education. One of the major advantages of taking a class at our museum is the ability to view examples of celebrated artwork in relation to their own.
We are expanding the education program to encourage more people to join us. We will soon be moving the classroom into the original carriage house next to the museum, where we will have more room to be able to accept more people in classes and have a whole building dedicated to creating art. This project is still in development, but with the help of our supporters we are renovating the historic space to become a center of learning here in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Financial assistance provided by the St. Joseph, Missouri Visitors Bureau.
–Alex Asher, Director of Education