The Education Department
The Education Department of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo offers educational and training programs focusing on different ways of approaching contemporary art. The Foundation’s ongoing, varied and multi-layered exhibiting activity is a unique occasion to introduce different aspects of artistic creation and develop creative thought, a sense of observation, and a critical approach to contemporary culture. In recent years the Department has intensified work with senior high school institutes, promoting series of meetings that focus on approaching contemporary art. The work we have carried out with liberal arts colleges and senior high schools is essential, and is formally recognized by the Ministry of Public Education, with which Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo established a convention in May 2005. The agreement allows the Foundation to issue course credits to students who attend the
activities. Each year, around 20.000 children, young people, university students,
teachers and families are involved in the Department’s activities.
Kindergarten and primary school
Facing the artwork: the group visits a selection of exhibited works, which are seen as texts to be read with the help of dialogue and play, or as documents to interpret, searching for signs of the contemporary
Workshop: a place to individually develop the suggestions and inspiration gathered when facing the artwork. Sessions focus on comprehension and experimentation with different codes and languages of contemporary art. This allows children to directly experience the creative process. Themes are adapted to suit the participants’ age group: sign and form, matter and senses, portrait and self-portrait, the space of living and its representation, photography and the moving image.
Junior and Senior High School
Preliminary sessions are aimed at students, and focus on approaching contemporary art. The program includes a historical-theoretical introduction and a workshop with practical activities.
The museum at school: contemporary art history lessons, starting from the works of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection. Reflections on the roles of the museum, the relationship between artworks, the
cultural context that produced them, the environment in which they exist, and the meanings they refer to. Trying to interpret the works in the Collection is also an opportunity for students to produce theses and research work, and for teachers to collect materials for their lessons.
Workshops are moments of study, research, development and interaction with exhibitions and artists. They take place inside the exhibition space, in direct contact with the artworks. They are addressed to senior high school and art school students, academies, university courses and post-graduates, and aim to create opportunities for exploring the artist’s vision, reflecting on the exhibition themes with the languages of contemporary art that are closer to the sensibility of young people, and starting a research work that can be documented and circulated.
The 3-day workshops are organized as follows:
• historical and theoretical introduction to the exhibition, meeting with the curators
• debate and feedback exchange
• group work and development of themes
• presentation of results to the public in open event
• focus group for testing
All the activities take place inside the exhibition space, during opening hours, thus
facilitating direct interaction with visitors.
How can we narrate contemporary art to children? How can we take the museum to the school setting? How can we combine art and the English language? The project I Speak Contemporary, created by the Educational Department of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo as part of Progetto Diderot, tries to answer these questions, proposing an itinerary that uses e-leraning and laboratory activities in schools as effective educational tools for students and teachers. Art at Times is a series of video lessons in English that was designed specifically for this purpose: it is a unique, flexible and interactive learning tool. I Speak Contemporary has involved more than 11.000 students from primary schools in the Piedmont and Aosta Valley regions, in the school year 2016/2017.
Thanks to Progetto Diderot, each year thousands of young people between 6 and 20 years of age can attend for free workshops, laboratories, video lessons, visits, seminars, lectures-debates with experts and testimonials, and even concerts and plays. All of these activities are aimed at familiarizing the younger generations with the founding values of civil society, examining specific aspects of the basic teachings provided by schools, and developing a creative, challenging approach to subjects such as mathematics, computing, civics, journalism, philosophy, ethics, health, sustainable development, art and history. Over the past ten years Progetto Diderot, promoted by the CRT Foundation, has involved 26.000 classes, 37.000 teachers and 526.000 students.
Within the framework of Progetto Diderot, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo proposes its program I Speak Contemporary, which gives the primary and 1st-grade and 2nd-grade secondary schools of Piedmont and Aosta Valley the opportunity to get acquainted with contemporary art and its different languages and tools, through an interdisciplinary learning itinerary. This itinerary includes a session at school, in the classroom, where short video lessons in English will be viewed. These are designed to address the key notions of contemporary art through the use and practice of the foreign language. Introduced by an operator of the Educational Department of the Foundation, each video lesson proposes a way of reading a contemporary artwork, as well as a possible practical reworking of it in the laboratory setting. Teachers can further develop the itinerary on their own, using the video lessons both as a teaching tool in the reading and creative reworking of the images and their contents, and as an aid in the learning of the English language.
Numbers: over 12.000 children and young people each year
Target: primary schools and 1st-grade and 2nd-grade secondary schools
Duration: the whole school year
Each year the Educational Department of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo offers a program for high schools, to help students get acquainted with ideas, metaphors, symbols and codes of the contemporary art world, which can provide food for thought and new ways of looking at the world.
The collaboration program includes seven meetings for each class, and a final session to present and share results with the public of the Foundation.
The aim is to experience the exhibiting spaces as informal places of learning, and the works of art as physical and mental spaces for communication.
In the itinerary, participants aided by Foundation staff plan an interactive tour for the public (readings of literary texts and of original works, games, performance actions, music…). Some of the works selected by students become as many stations in the public tour, in which students themselves guide friends, relatives and schoolmates through the exhibition, giving their own reading of each work and discussing different points of view.
Numbers: an average of 3000 students per school year
Target: junior and senior high school students
Duration: yearly (school year)
The projects are addressed to child care centers, kindergartens, and child recreation centers. They are designed for early childhood, with the purpose of creating a funny, creative interaction with the works of art on display and with the materials used in art.
The activities in the special projects may take place at school and in the museum (museum visit and workshop at school), or include meetings at the Foundation with groups of children under the age of 4, in which play and narrative are the basic elements of communication.
The project is inspired by an educational approach that views the intercultural perspective and citizenship as central in the social and cultural development of the territory. Consequently, special attention is paid to the school setting and to associations that operate in sensitive areas of the Turin district. In this perspective, the school and museum work together for the development of individuals and of the community at large.
Tools: visits with child entertainers, museum and school workshops, games, final exhibits and participation in year-end school parties to inform families about course achievements.
Numbers: an average of 3000 children for each school year
Target: children from 1 to 4
Duration: yearly (school year)
Since 2015, the Education Department of the Fondazione offers an instructive experience to establish an unprecedented dialogue with the artists that not only share their work processes and research, but also their life experience and vision of the contemporary world, to secondary schools. During the weeks before the meetings, the educational staff meets the classes in order to prepare them for a training which entails introducing themes and work processes of each artist.
The plenary meetings involve classes from many schools, including the Classical and Music Lyceum Cavour, the Albe Steiner Institute, the Artistic Lyceum Renato Cottini, the Scientific Lyceum Amaldi-Sraffa, and the European Institute Altiero Spinelli. These meetings are conceived so that the artist can contemporarily talk about his/her work and welcome questions from young students.
On top of the plenary meetings, which occur at the auditorium room of the Fondazione, the students of the Artistic Lyceum Cottini realise video-interviews, directly during the exhibition.
“What does being an artist mean to you?” is a recurrent question, and the diversity and depth of the answers establishes a precious heritage, a sort of catalogue of thoughts and reflections upon the role of the contemporary artist. From Adrian Villar Rojas who says he wishes to call into question the same communication that characterizes “making art” – “artist”, “exhibition”,”museum”, in favour of “human being”, “experience”, “environment”, to Liam Gillick, who prefers to start with “what is not an artist”, to Monster Chetwynd, who reveals that, if she could not be an artist, she would certainly find a way to express herself in any other environment or situation; words and stories shared by the artists become an inspiration and starting points that let the students get into the exhibitions further by means of diversified projects, experiences of mediation amongst the public and peer to peer education.
The photography students from the Albe Steiner Institute document the meetings, within the combined study/work experience program.
The artists that have been involved so far are: Adrian Villar Rojas, Ed Atkins, Liam Gillick, Monster Chetwynd and Rachel Rose.
2015, Adrian Villar Rojas: https://vimeo.com/167819435
2016, Ed Atkins: https://vimeo.com/200097280
2017, Liam Gillick: https://vimeo.com/251076490
2018, Monster Chetwynd: https://vimeo.com/317091686
2018, Rachel Rose: https://vimeo.com/317091686
In collaboration with the “Renato Cottini” State Art School, Turin. With the support of Regione Piemonte
Project: in the school years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, our proposals have involved classes 5D and 3D of the Cottini Art School in extensive programs focusing on the solo exhibitions of Adrian Villar Rojas and Ed Atkins. The classes had the opportunity to visit the exhibitions as early as the installation stage, thus coming in touch with the artists as well as the technical and curatorial staff of the Foundation.
Both programs have three principal aims:
Producing a series of short videos that tell the story of the exhibition, written and shot by students, with English language content;
Activating an experimental program with primary, or 1st-grade secondary, school classes, which should enable high school students to convey to children information about the artist and the exhibition while taking them on a tour of the Foundation, and presenting their final videos at school;
Creating the conditions that enable students to closely follow the installation of an exhibition, to meet the artist, his collaborators and several other professionals, such as the installers and the curators of the Foundation.
Reboot the Planet: in February 2016, the students of the 5D class welcomed to the Foundation the children of two primary schools of Turin and Moncalieri, leading them through the exhibition, and giving a public presentation of the videos they had produced: interviews with Adrian Villar Rojas, with the chief installer of the Foundation Giuseppe Tassone, and the curator of the exhibition, Irene Calderoni, as well as a series of experiments on the movement of the body in space and on sound.
Strange Skin: in January 2017, the students of the 3D class welcomed to the Foundation the children of two 1st grade secondary schools, guided them through the exhibition, and gave a public presentation of the videos they had created: interviews with Ed Atkins, with the chief installer of the Foundation Giuseppe Tassone, and with the curator of the exhibitions Irene Calderoni, as well as a series of experiments on the notion of avatar and on the production of audio and video works.
Strange Skin also ranked 21st in the list for the public call for “Progetti di Eccellenza di Alternanza Scuola Lavoro” (“Projects of Excellence in Work-based Learning”) promoted by the Piedmont Regional School Office, scoring 61 out of 100 points and obtaining a financial reward.
Target: students between 16 and 19
Numbers: 50 students
Duration: the whole school year
The Strange Skin project, curated by the Educational Department of the Foundation, and involving the 3D class of the “Renato Cottini” State Art School during the school year 2016/2017, ranked 21st in the list for the public notice “Progetti di Eccellenza di Alternanza Scuola Lavoro” (“Projects of Excellence in Work-based learning”), promoted by the Piedmont Regional School Office, scoring 61 out of 100 points and obtaining a financial reward: http://www.istruzionepiemonte.it/?p=26998
The program, implemented thanks to the support of Regione Piemonte, is a representative example of the work carried out by the Educational Department, aimed at getting young people acquainted with contemporary art, in particular through meetings with major international artists.
The last school year it was the turn of Adrian Villar Rojas, and of the Reboot the Planet! project https://vimeo.com/167808420. This year the project started from the work of Ed Atkins. In the month of September he met the students (not only from the Cottini Art School, but also from the Cavour college and the Albe Steiner institute), talking about his beginnings and his influences, welcoming the many questions that the classes had prepared for him, showing videos of his works, and talking about key references in his own education and evolution.
The 3D class continued working intensively on the educational program that focused on the English artist. They have produced interviews with, besides Atkins himself, professionals from the Foundation (the curator and chief installer), they have analyzed the contents and technical aspects of the works through the production of video and sound contributions, and prepared to guide their fellow students from 1st-grade secondary school in a visit the exhibition. Another feature of this project is the specific use of the English language. Besides this, students also had the opportunity to shadow the cultural mediation staff of the Foundation, and become themselves mediators for the Ed Atkins exhibition, having talks with visitors and narrating their experience.
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