2014-2015 Intern: Hallie Schmidt

Hallie Schmidt, '16



  Hallie Schmidt, '16, 

  Education and Outreach Assistant



I am currently finishing up my third year here at UMD, working on a double degree in Studio Art and Art History. My courses have helped me develop a solid foundation in art history and studio art that I hope to use as I further my education within the field of museum studies and experimental learning. In the fall of 2013, I was given the opportunity to apprentice my sculptor professor Foon Sham on a large-scale wood installation, which provided me with a connection to Arlington Arts Center, where I later worked as an Education Intern during the summer of 2014. This experience prompted me to investigate in other museum or community oriented art internships affiliated with the University of Maryland, which is how I came to The Art Gallery.

During the summer of 2014, I began working as an undergraduate assistant to Education Curator, Katie Coogan, and John Shipman, former Gallery Director. One of the most beneficial aspects of my assistantship was the professional development I received from The Art Gallery. As soon as I began, Katie introduced me to her line of work, her past projects, and her goals while working at the Art Gallery. She made it evident that our professional relationship should develop collaboratively and that I have the personal freedom to choose any project I wish to accomplish under her guidance. I was never reluctant to present any ideas to Katie, and she received any and all contributions with open arms, constantly providing me with constrictive feedback that I know I will be able to use as a future educator.

During my fall semester, we worked together to produce two lesson plans based on the gallery’s exhibiting and permanent collections. We created interactive reading cards for Chip Lord’s exhibition, providing students with insightful questions as they view the works of art. Our questions were geared towards middle and high school students, in hopes to attract audiences to view the Art Gallery as a community based educational resource, rather than a mere university institution. Working with Chip Lord’s collection allowed for Katie and I to delve deeper into the content, improving my own skills as a critical thinker and writer, and as a museum educator. John Shipman and Katie Coogan also introduced me to Augmented Reality and Sketch Up, two incredibly useful programs for exhibition design. The workshops that Katie and John held for local educators allowed for me to gain an understanding of how these programs can be actively used outside of a gallery with educators and students. Sketch Up gives students an early sense of what it means to curate a show, how to develop a theme, or how to title works, and Augmented Reality can be used as an experimental learning method, combining alternative sources of media for students to gain an understanding of big ideas seen within contemporary culture.


Along with Chip Lord, I was able to design a lesson based on works from our previous show, Poetic Aesthetic. Taking several prints from the collection, I created a PowerPoint presentation designed for middle school students, outlining the different types of poetic devices and how students can actively engage in reading descriptive imagery within literature. With Katie’s assistance, I was able to provide questions to consider when viewing the prints, as students gain an understanding of the connection between literature and art. We devised exercises for students to begin taking words, and illustrating them into their own works of art. This was a great exercise, not only for creating a lesson, but also for interpreting poetry in a way that can be easily understood by younger audiences.

This semester, we have worked on developing and executing lessons for our workshop titled Visual Literacy. I was able to assist Katie with designing a syllabus for the workshop and I sat in on all of the classes, acting as Katie’s teacher’s assistant, circulating the room and offering feedback to high school students from Northwestern High School. I have also worked with Katie to develop a lesson for first grade students at Felegy Elementary School, who are taking their own works of art and curating an exhibition, which will then be displayed in our own Sketch Up model for the students to view. Students were able to learn and discuss how to create a theme and title and what are the different roles of a curator, exhibition designer, etc. in a show.

I am now involved with an exhibition project, collaborating with Sibia Sarangan, another Art Gallery intern. I am using the Japanese prints that Sibia as selected from the G. Lewis Schmidt Kyoko Edayoshi Schmidt gift to The Gallery and developing an education component for the exhibition. The idea is to create an interactive viewing and learning experience for University of Maryland students and others.

My experience here at the Art Gallery over the past year has introduced me to the ever-growing field of museum education, as I am now able to interpret works of art in entirely new and different ways. I have also gained an understanding of gallery operations and proper art handling methods.