Art education at La Galerie
Developing forms of cultural mediation appropriate to contemporary art and a wide-ranging public is a key part of the art centre’s enterprise. In its exhibitions and overall art programme La Galerie shapes tools and approaches specifically intended to heighten public awareness of contemporary art.
The art centre’s accumulated experience in this field is available to all its visitors: individuals, families and groups. People lacking contact with the cultural scene, knowledgeable art lovers, children, adults and disabled visitors all have access to the art of today. Since the centre’s founding in 1999 its identity has been reinforced by publication of exhibition guides for children, as well as workshops overseen by artists trained in cultural liaison.
The La Galerie team’s tools – workshops, guided tours, printed exhibition guides for children, teaching kits, documentary material – mean access to the latest developments in art for young and old alike.
With a helping hand from the participating artists, children – either with their schools or as part of extracurricular activities – can hone their critical sense and personal creativity through guided tours backed up by workshops. The aim is to develop their visual culture and assist in the acquisition of a contemporary art vocabulary via a play-based approach involving observation, discussion of artworks and hands-on exercises.
One especially original feature of the La Galerie educational method is the three-session “1,2,3…Prunelles’’ system. The first two sessions alternate a guided tour of an exhibition and handling of materials in a process of discovery giving an insight into the exhibition’s main concepts. They are followed by a visit to another cultural venue in the Ile-de-France region that rounds off and enriches this initial experience.
La Galerie is very much aware of the importance of local involvement, and is planning to extend its social outreach by inviting an artist to devise a project people can participate in in their homes or workplaces.
Last but not least comes the annual feedback exhibition “Et si…? Nos ateliers éducatifs’’ (What if…? Our educational workshops), a summary of the year’s workshops and other projects. This event also gives a group of children the chance to learn at first hand about the art centre’s various professions by taking an active part in the process of setting up the exhibition.