University Art Museum program educates children of graduate students


Shane Buchanan

NMSU Master of Fine Arts students Katrina Chandler and Maggie Day.

The New Mexico State University Art Museum began a new program to help Master of Fine Arts students by providing a program for their children for a number of hours each week while they work in their studios.

In the program, called #MoMFA, UAM Education and Outreach Assistant Bowen Perry In the program teaches the children about art in the museum.

“We saw that creating an educational experience where we can have [the MFA students’] kids for a few hours a week, while they have some studio time would be invaluable. With that in mind, I began to craft an immersing educational program that we have begun to offer to their little ones,” Perry said.

Perry said on Friday nights, he and the children spend the time “crafting masterpieces” or in the Zane Bennet Collections Study Room “making connections relevant to their lives through art.”

MFA students and mothers Maggie Day and Katrina Chandler both have children who participate in the program.

Chandler, said Perry’s assistance with her two children has been “really cool.”

“[My daughter is] learning all these new things, and Bo [Perry] is really great. He is actually informing [the kids] and being really nice about it,” Chandler said.

She also said bringing the worlds of motherhood and art together is something that was always an inconvenience of sorts.

“It’s like, well, we spend time in our studios [but] were not with our kids, and when we’re with our kids we’re not in our studios. It’s kind of a mesh of the two worlds,” Chandler said.

According to Perry, children’s exposure to art can have a “profound impact” on them, and children “yearn” for self-expression.

“I have the best job in the world: we throw on our aprons, grab our paints and materials, put on some Disney mixes and get to work in inspiring the world,” Perry said.

The two art MFA mothers will also be part of the new UAM’s opening exhibition for the NMSU Art Museum Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020 Labor exhibition in February.

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