Look: Abu Dhabi students learn art with new museum collaboration

The pupils will create their own curated space, displaying their artworks themed around immigration and migration

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 10 Nov 2021, 1:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Nov 2021, 10:58 AM

Pupils at an Abu Dhabi school have been treated to new insights into art and the importance of museums and their collections thanks to the school’s collaboration with Zayed National Museum and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).

A team from the Museum treated all Grade 3 children of GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi to a question-based presentation and activity designed to spark their creativity and imaginations.

The students will now create their own curated space, displaying their artworks themed around immigration and migration, complete with labels detailing information about each piece as well as its significance within the exhibit – much as they would find in a real museum.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Their aim is to then invite representatives from Zayed National Museum back to their school to tour the exhibition and promote their work virtually through the DCT website.

Catherine Erpen, Principal, GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi says from such presentations, their pupils are learning about the art of curation.

“Museums use their collections to tell stories. These can be stories of an individual, a society, a place or a time. Our Grade 3 students are investigating how objects, artefacts and artworks can communicate meaning,” she told Khaleeej Times.

“In addition, they will discover how an exhibition or collection can impact its viewers’ ideas and beliefs, and how it can cultivate appreciation and understanding. This helps the development of their critical thinking skills and supports information transfer.”

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The school principal pointed out that this collaboration will culminate in the students’ curation of their own exhibit with the transdisciplinary theme of migration and immigration.

“Our goal will be to tell the narrative of the migrant or immigrant with a thoughtfully curated exhibition that communicates meaning. Through the creation and selection of various objects and images, our student curators will impact the viewers’ understanding of the migrant/immigrants’ journey. Just as in a real museum, they will create written labels containing information about each piece as well as its significance within the exhibit,” says Erpen.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Speaking about the importance of initiative, Linnea Ettala, a Grade 3 student at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi said, “I think it’s important for people to learn about migrants and immigrants, because some of us are immigrants here.”

Another student, Muhammad Yousef Asif said, “Humans are curious. I am excited to make a museum, because I want to teach people.”

For Jack Osmond, also in Grade 3, he thinks it’s important because museums teach people and I want people to learn what we are learning.

The school says it was planning to do more such collaborations to initiate more such activities.

“It is important that students benefit from diverse experiences and it especially meaningful when schools can develop partnerships within the local community. We are very excited about the possibilities and are looking forward to taking our students to Zayed National Museum,” said Erpen.


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