Interpreting Sacred Art for Secular Audiences

Track
Education Audience Research & Evaluation
Start Day and Time
Wednesday May 10 9:45-11 a.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
223 America's Center
Description
Sacred objects used in ritual practice in a religious tradition: we must interpret these objects in ways that are respectful and sensitive to the tradition while allowing secular audiences to experience the objects through other lenses. How do we acknowledge the role of sacred art or artifacts in a religious tradition while allowing secular visitors to interpret them from different points of view? How do we work with school groups around these objects? What emotions, controversies, or misunderstandings might arise; conversely, what learning opportunities do sacred objects provide?

Education, Audience Research & Evaluation track generously supported by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Learner Outcome
  1. Understand sacred objects' role as having a ritual use in a religious tradition and as distinct from objects that depict religion.
  2. Identify ways in which interpretation is necessarily different for sacred objects than for other types, and craft strategies for implementation.
  3. Recognize the distinct needs of secular audiences and those that practice the faith the object represents, and how those needs can intersect or clash.
Speakers
Presenter: 
Chaim Lieberperson
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Museum Educator
Organization: 
Jewish Museum of Florida
Presenter: 
Gurufateh Khalsa
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Director
Organization: 
The Yogi Bhajan Museum Project
Bio
Gurufateh Kaur has been the Managing Director of the Yogi Bhajan Museum Project in Espanola, NM, since 2007. She oversees Collection Care, Project Management, and Conservation. She has also held positions at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. Gurufateh is a teacher of Kundalini Yoga and has been an ordained Minister of Sikh Dharma International since 1987.
Presenter: 
Sarah Magnatta
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Interpretive Specialist
Organization: 
Denver Art Museum
Bio
Sarah Magnatta is currently the Interpretive Specialist of Asian Art at the Denver Art Museum. She received her PhD in Art History from the Ohio State University and specializes in South Asian and Himalayan art. In addition to her position at the DAM, Sarah serves as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Denver and teaches a variety of Asian art history courses.
Presenter: 
Shaliyah Ben
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Education Programs and Outreach Manager
Organization: 
Heard Museum
Bio
Shaliyah Ben is the Education and Outreach Manager at the Heard Museum, where she has worked for 18 years, since high school. At the Heard, she has worked with collections from her own and other cultures, including sacred objects that she interprets for general audiences. Shaliyah has also worked in curatorial capacities at the Heard. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Arizona State University.
Presenter: 
Tara Young
Role: 
Moderator
Title: 
Deputy Director
Organization: 
Museum of Russian Icons
Bio
Tara Young is the Deputy Director at the Museum of Russian Icons, in Clinton, MA, which has a collection of about 1,000 icons and related artifacts that are used for veneration in the Russian Orthodox Church. Tara's previous positions have been at the Higgins Armory Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Seattle Art Museum. She teaches Museum Education for K-12 Audiences in the Tufts University Museum Studies program.