Kylie Neagle announces new professional development session held throughout the year

Responding to temporary exhibitions or special events in the school calendar such as Science Week or NAIDOC Week is what Education does best, providing teachers with context about exhibitions, as well as resources to use in the classroom. However, this year, we wanted to shine a light on the permanent collection, which comprises almost 45,000 works of art, spanning 2000 years.

Curators and Collection is a series of four professional development sessions held throughout the year, one per school term. These exclusive after-hours talks provide an opportunity for our teachers to become better acquainted with the permanent collection and the curators who care for them.

In term 1 Rebecca Evans, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, introduced teachers to our Morris & Co. collection (the largest outside Britain) and the history of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, the fashion for Morris-related material in Adelaide and the legacy of Morris in contemporary craft.

Also in term 1, Dr. Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs, discussed South Australian-born artists who travelled to Europe, such as Dorrit Black, Margaret Preston and Jeffrey Smart, and the impact these journeys had on their careers and artistic development.

Following the curator talks, teachers are provided with suggestions for how their newly acquired knowledge could be transformed to suit a classroom setting. Using the ASGA Art School in a Box, key art terms are selected and paired with a variety of activities that respond to the works of art that teachers have encountered during their session.

As we continue to prioritise connecting with teachers far and wide, each of the Curators and the Collectiontalks are recorded and available online (along with the suggested activities) for teachers to revisit, if they attended in person, or engage with from anywhere in the world – expanding the reach of our collection.

Coming up in term 2 we will be joined by Tansy Curtin, Curator of International Art pre-1980, as she discusses contemporary approaches to collection displays, with particular reference to the Gallery’s thematic approach to interpreting the international collection of art from the fifteenth century to the present. Leigh Robb, Curator of Contemporary Art, will follow up by exploring contemporary art, with a focus on perception, optics and illusion.

Kylie is Education Officer at AGSA, a position supported by the Government of South Australia through the Department for Education. This article first appeared in AGSA Magazine Issue 42, 2021.