Space for Engagement

Artists Education Visitors Youth

Jeremy Kreusch recalls clowning around to prepare for engaging students in the galleries.

When I started the artists guide program, I did not know what to expect. And I was expecting a fairly intensive art training, something where we went in, toured the exhibitions for hours, went through the MCA catalogue, talked about pedagogy. And they brought me in, and our first day they had Adrian Danzig, who is a clown. They had—they were just giving us a work show—shop on clowning. And from that point I knew it was gonna be sort of a different experience. But it was really wonderful because it involved improvisation and humor. And the objective wasn't to teach us information about clowning or teach us how to talk about art.

It was to get us to be interesting and engaging and flexible with students. And that's really what it is for me. I don't teach students about art. I really don't. I have interesting conversations with young people in the galleries. And I try to create situations where they can have conversations among themselves. And so the real moments for me that are rewarding as an artist and as an educator are those moments where I can step back and watch them have a meaningful experience around an artwork that is like, yes, of course, tangentially informed by that artwork, but ultimately about a space for engagement and a space for conversation and a space where they can feel like they are welcome and allowed to be themselves.

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Video still, Behind the Scenes at an Art Museum. © MCA Chicago.

Behind the Scenes

MCA staff members are interviewed in 1997 about their work. Interviews include Torri Johnson, security officer; Margaret Farr, assistant director of education; Pablo Helguera, coordinator of public programs; Dominic Molon,. . . more
1990s Community Education Staff