To incorporate what AP Art History and AP French IV students have learned in class, French teacher Allison Foster-Haliburton and history teacher Michael Withers will host an MHS night from 6-7:30 p.m. April 5 at the Kimbell Museum, where students will act as docents to inform attendees about each piece of art.
“I had been wanting to do this night for a few years and last year I took some French IV students to check it out,” Foster-Haliburton said. “I thought that was something we could do, so I asked Mr. Withers if he would do it with me and he said ‘yeah, that’d be awesome.’”
Many of the pieces Kimbell has on display match up with what students are learning in AP Art History, so Withers said this will be good for them.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to get into the art and truly understand it,” he said. “The Kimbell has a lot of work by the artists in our collection, so we matched students up with those same artists to present with some expertise.”
After taking a field trip to the Kimbell last semester and recording the professional docents’ presentations, Withers made a guide sheet to fill out, which includes a space for the biography of the artist and the form, function and content of the piece.
“We’re basically just using that to make sure we know everything about our one piece,” junior and AP Art History student Danyah Nashawi. “I’m already pretty good with public speaking, but either way, I’m still really excited to share what we’ve learned.”
Foster-Haliburton said she hopes this becomes an annual event, but it takes a lot of preparation to get a night like this off the ground.
“I hope we get to do it every year but it takes a lot of work,” she said. “I have students coming in after school, and we’ll need to do a dress rehearsal to make sure we’re ready.”
Withers said like anything in life, there will be some flaws, but he is confident it will be worth the effort and help the students as well.
“It’ll give them more confidence and get them more comfortable with speaking. I also hope that it shows their fellow students that knowing about art and history is very interesting,” he said. “Plus, it’s a fun way to spend a Friday night.”
The Kimbell event shows students how school can be incorporated into real life.
“This helps because the students can see what we are doing in class in the real world and in the community,” Foster-Haliburton said. “This was a way for my kids to go to the museum and learn things they would normally forget.”
Ultimately, Foster-Haliburton said the hope is for nothing but good to come from this and for the community to see how the school has helped its students.
“I hope a lot of people come, and I hope our kids do really well and learn a lot about speaking and having confidence,” she said. “I hope their parents see how great their kids are in a different setting because they see them at home and athletic events, but not necessarily in an academic capability. Here, their kids will be the experts. It’s neat to bring the community in so the public can see what we do at school and see how great our kids are.”