Plains Art Cases Now Available for the 2011-2012 School Year

The contents of the 'Guilty of Being Indian' art case with work by David Bradley.

Many rural communities in our area struggle with access to arts education. With tight budgets and long drives to cities that have standalone arts organizations, a structured arts curriculum can be hard for students to come by.

Our Art Case program is designed to provide art education resources to classrooms in our region that have little or no formal art education in place. Each case is packed with a miniature exhibition of works by regional artists and comes with an education guide that encourages classroom participation. Also, some art case content is supplemented by online material. We are able to offer these cases free of charge thanks to support from the Wyeth Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts through an appropriation from the North Dakota Legislature. Best of all, educators pay no shipping fees.

Educators who have used the cases in their classrooms report an overwhelmingly positive experience. One educator writes:

Just an amazing teaching kit, so beautiful. The students were in awe of the contents and very engaged. I want to thank you and your museum for sharing the amazing trunk with the contents and context. It make the Native American culture come alive for them and honored the Native students we have. The smell of sweet grass greeted each class as they walked into the art room. Curiosity came next. Thank you again for being so generous with the time frame. It made the end of the year extra special for us.

This year, we have two additions to the art case family. The new art cases are entitled Expressions of Home and Tactile Art; the first highlights Minnesota and North Dakota artists who visually explore the meaning of “home,” while the latter contains work meant to be touched as well as seen. The three original art cases, focusing on the work of David Bradley (Chippewa Family, Powwow Princess in the Process of Acculturation, and Guilty of Being Indian (Mankato), are also available. To reserve a PlainsArt Case for the upcoming school year, contact Museum Education Director Sandy Ben-Haim at 701.232.3821 ext. 109 or by email at sbenhaim@plainsart.org.