Monday, October 22, 2012

Intern Profile: Jacob

Jacob S. Metoxen is the new conservation intern responsible for the re-locating of collections from temporary storage into the Imperial Valley Desert Museum. Jacob's conservation experience includes working at the Arizona State Museum where he conserved American Indian materials including a Navajo beaded belt and Navajo Rugs for an exhibit highlighting southwestern American Indian/settler trade.

Most recently, Jacob interned at the National Archives and Record Repository in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was actively involved in processing Bureau of Indian Affairs materials from various regions in the Midwest. Jacob received his Bachelors of Science in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and subsequently a Masters of Arts in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona.

Jacob is a member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of Imperial Valley community culture.  He looks forward to experiencing the rich culture of southern California and learning about the continued subsistence of communities in the area.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunset Photography Event

"I never knew that little camera could do so much", said one participant to tonight's photography event. We spent an hour trying out the options on our cameras that had always been there, but now we knew what to do with them... sort of. A couple folks decided it would take some practice before they mastered it. 

Afterward, we set up the projector and reviewed the images on the big screen. Below is a tiny sampling of our work, you can see the rest on our facebook page. 

Thanks to Esther for organizing the event and Abby Perez for offering instruction on the camera features and composition. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Celebrating our Desert Culture Grant Begins

Today kicked off the Celebrating our Desert Culture Hands on Art grant funded through the Imperial Valley Community Foundation. This is the second round of funding to bring the museum's Ceramic Art Youth Program into county schools. This year we are including home school programs as well as continuing to work with high schools.

Today we met during the art class session of the Freedom Academy in Holtville to give an overview of ollas as history and as art. One student, the youngest, explored the structure of the clay and how to stretch the existing sides of her pot taller; with the idea that 2 inches is tall. By the end of this first class, the students got an idea of how difficult it is to make ollas - they are typically 15-20 inches tall. Next week, we'll take the basis we built and try for a 10 inch pot.

Monday, October 8, 2012

AASLH meeting

by Jessica Brody

The Association of American State and Local History is a national organization devoted to the support of local history institutions. Last week, I attended the annual meeting as part of a scholarship from their Small Museums group. To maximize the impact of their contribution, I'm sharing the information I learned here on the blog.

Probably the most important take away point from the conference was "invite leaders to participate." The theme for the conference was "exploring connections between people and place" and so inviting leaders to participate refers to community leaders, staff leaders, volunteer leaders - people who are passionate about what your organization is passionate about - create an environment where these people can participate in their passions. I love this concept because it's what I love about this particular museum: people suggest museum programming or put their collections on display or dictate the direction of our art research.

Then there things you would expect out of a conference like quotes to live by:  “vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare” and sessions on "civic tourism". 

I was also able to evaluate where our museum sits when compared to other local organizations. You might recognize some of these themes from conversations around our curation tables:

- develop partnerships
- be inviting
- be interesting
- be relevant
- have fun
- escape your comfort zone
- be unforgettable

If you are interested in learning more about the conference happenings and themes, I'd be happy to discuss it with you: email me at