Pupils at an Abu Dhabi school gained fresh perspectives on art and the significance of museums and their collections as a result of the school’s engagement with the Zayed National Museum and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).
A team from the museum, which is set to open in 2022, visited all Grade 3 students at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi were treated to a question-based presentation and activity designed to spark their creativity and imaginations.
The students will now create their own curated space in which to display their artworks related to immigration and migration, complete with labels providing information about each piece as well as its significance within the exhibit—much like they would in a real museum.
Their goal is to invite Zayed National Museum representatives back to their school to tour the exhibition and promote their work virtually via the DCT website.
According to Catherine Erpen, Principal of GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, such presentations teach their students about the art of curation.
“Museums tell stories with their collections. These can be stories about a person, a society, a location, or a period of time. Our Grade 3 students are looking into how objects, artifacts, and artworks can convey meaning,” she said.
“They’ll also learn how an exhibition or collection can influence viewers’ ideas and beliefs, as well as how it can foster appreciation and understanding. This aids in the development of their critical thinking skills and facilitates the transfer of information.”
The collaboration will culminate in the students curating their own exhibit on the transdisciplinary theme of migration and immigration, according to the school principal.
“With a thoughtfully curated exhibition that communicates meaning, our goal will be to tell the story of the migrant or immigrant. Our student curators will influence viewers’ understanding of the migrant/immigrant journey by creating and selecting various objects and images. “They will create written labels containing information about each piece as well as its significance within the exhibit, just like they would in a real museum,” Erpen says.
Linnea Ettala, a Grade 3 student at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, stated, “I think it’s important for people to learn about migrants and immigrants because some of us are immigrants here.”
“Humans are interested,” observed another student, Muhammad Yousef Asif. “I’m looking forward to establishing a museum because I want to educate people.”
Also in Grade 3, Jack Osmond believes it is vital because museums educate people, and I want them to learn what we are learning.
The school stated that it intended to do more of these collaborations in order to launch more of these initiatives.
“It’s critical that students benefit from a variety of experiences, and it’s especially vital when schools can form ties with the community. We’re incredibly thrilled about the possibilities and can’t wait to take our pupils to the Zayed National Museum when it opens next year,” Erpen added.