In the Museum
Art viewing enables visual language fluency in much the same way that reading literature enhances textual literacy. It is why the Toledo Museum of Art is making visual language education a priority, using its world-renowned collection to serve as a teaching resource.
Toledo Museum of Art Docents
Museum docents are trained in brain science, vision science, and the methodologies associated with improving visitors' visual literacy skills by engaging with works of art. These educators facilitate visitor discovery and enjoyment of the arts, and they come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions.
Developed by a leading expert on the impact of early art experience on infants and toddlers, these fun and innovative tours for 2-18 month olds teach parents and caregivers how to engage babies with art, which in turn promotes brain growth and literacy skills.
Toddler Tours are multi-sensory experiences with works of art. For the verbal toddler, interacting with an adult in naming images and describing different characteristics lays the groundwork for visual, cognitive, and language development.
Early-Stage Memory Loss
Meet Me at TMA and A Brush With Art are tours designed for those with mild memory loss and their companions.
Nearly 20,000 school children per year tour the Museum as part of TMA's docent-led, curriculum-based school tour program. Those students don't just learn about art, they learn about science, social studies, world history, culture, and much more. Multi-sensory tours themed on the Elements of Art are available for kindergarten students. The Museum's Passports program engages social studies classrooms through a series of visits to the Toledo Museum of Art.
Touch Tours, designed by TMA and The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio, introduce people with visual impairments to sculpture by allowing them to experience the works of art with their hands.
The Family Center is open four days a week, offering art-based activities free of charge. Activities at the Family Center are designed for children 10 years of age and younger.
These activity kits provide fun ways for parents to talk about artwork with children ages 2-8. Each Gallery Gear tote bag provides hands-on learning experiences inspired by works of art in the Museum's collection. Families take the totes to the galleries where they read books related to the theme of the artwork and explore creatively using various multi-media materials. A parent guide provides suggestions on how to engage children to look at works of art in new ways. The totes are free to borrow.
Throughout the galleries at the Toledo Museum of Art are hands-on activities that allow visitors to further interact with specific works of art in the collection.
Museum staff, security, and Ambassadors are provided the opportunity to take visual literacy workshops. These workshops equip Toledo Museum of Art employees and volunteers with "close looking" strategies that not only train them to view works of art in a more meaningful way. They also help to better understand everything that they see in their life encounters. These workshops will be open to the public in 2015.