Design Discovery

By Sarah Stadler | August 4, 2011

I’m Sarah Stadler, the Education Program Intern at CAM Raleigh. It’s been a summer jam-packed with fun projects at the museum. As the Education Intern, I’ve had many opportunities to help with activities occurring on the CAM Raleigh grounds and the NC State campus. I helped to pull together materials for First Fridays as well as setting up the supplies and the classroom for the many summer studios that filled the museum. I also laid out the application for the brand new Teen Council that will be starting this fall. It’s been an amazing experience to be able to work in a museum environment but the learning doesn’t stop there.

EXPLORE // Every other week this summer, we’ve had middle school students and high school students creating some of the most impressive letter forms, dresses, animations and architectural plans. In preparation for these studios, I prepared materials to make sure they were ready for use. From nametags and nameplates to the arrangement of the studio desks to maximize space, I worked in a variety of areas to help arrange the CAM classroom for the creative ambitions of these young designers.

I spent time researching Teen Art Councils within other major contemporary art museums. I learned how councils interact with museums and how teenagers within these groups use their leadership skills to further the development and connection with area schools or businesses. Upon looking into examples of other Teen Council applications, I decided that in order to make a teen excited about joining such an organization, they needed to feel inspired from the start. I integrated NC State Design Camp illustrations and with the guidance of Nicole Welch, formed an application that will draw the attention of any aspiring artist or designer.

SPARK THE IMAGINATION // Visiting museums or participating in community events like Raleigh’s First Friday, can become the seed for creative ambitions. Every First Friday, CAM Raleigh opens it’s doors to the public and gives them a chance to try on their creative thinking caps. The June First Friday, I watched in amazement as people cut, coordinated and fused their designs into the form of a plastic tote bag. In preparation for the following First Friday, I explored the limits of wire and created examples of nature to echo the designs of artist Naoko Ito. I took on my final challenge as an intern by researching, planning and preparing materials for CAM’s August First Friday project- CAM bands (bracelets). The idea was taken from a children’s craft book in which fabric, plastic and duct tape were woven together to create plastic belts. The project combined the materials used in both current museum installations, Rebecca Ward’s Thickly Sliced and Dan Steinhilber’s Hold On, Loosely. Plastic trash bags combined with brightly colored duct tape brought these bracelets to life. I designed instruction sheets for each table and planned out exactly how the room was to flow the night of the project. After cutting the materials and prepping the classroom, CAM was ready to invite people in to explore a world of color and plastic.

The opportunities to learn about different aspects of such an environment are never ending and since CAM Raleigh is an art museum that takes inspiration from its surroundings, there is always something new and fresh to explore and spark imagination.


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