Nearly 60,000 people visit Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) annually, but the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily closed one of the largest academic art museums in the Big Bend.
That’s prompted MoFA staff to reschedule exhibitions and programs and develop remote internships and educational opportunities for students, as well as generate new activities that would attract visitors to make virtual trips to the museum through a new “MoFA at Home” initiative.
Museum Director Preston McLane, Assistant Curator and Director of Galleries Meredith Lynn, Department of Art Education Associate Professors Ann Rowson-Love and Pat Villeneuve are a part of this digital research group and were recently awarded a grant from FSU’s Collaborative Collisions COVID-19 response program to build upon this digital content.
As a team, we have been thinking about content that we can create that will bring comfort and ease stress, while still providing engaging activities during this trying time. Our new ‘MoFA at Home’ initiative features several projects created to keep our community together.
– Annie Booth, program coordinator for the museum
MoFA, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), boasts 9,000–square–feet of exhibition space and a permanent collection of over 6,000 objects, but like many museums, the staff has spent the past several weeks working on digital projects.
While many of these were designed to be shared through the social media platform, we wanted to provide a resource that students and families could consistently turn to for arts-based entertainment when looking for something to do.
– Meredith Lynn, Assistant Curator and Director of Galleries
Over the summer, MoFA will continue to add to “MoFA at Home,” with weekly updates and new projects. Currently, the website offers a selection of options for isolation-friendly entertainment, including deep dives in its collections, suggestions for public art walking tours in the Tallahassee area and arts and crafts projects.
MoFA is continuously searching for ways to serve their audience and will continue to foster collaboration, creativity and critical engagement at a distance, said Booth.
Student Voices is a digital space for interns,collaborators and volunteers that features research and creativity from our students. From in-depth artist highlights, to recommendations for arts-related films, each blogpost is unique to the interests and inspiration of its author.
Art Walks are unique artistic outdoor spaces created around the museum grounds for use as a sanctuary within the disruption of day-to-day routine. This initiative started as a social media series that was inspired by one of the few sanctioned “Safer at Home” activities. Follow Instagram @fsumofa to see these weekly Wednesday highlights. MoFA hopes to continue expanding Art Walks as a comprehensive resource on public art in town.
Make it with MoFA brings all the fun of our in-person, art-making activities right to the visitor’s home. With an emphasis on accessible crafts, “Make it with MoFA” will guide visitors through creative projects that they can complete with household materials. Projects include how to make your own sketchbook and making celebratory tree garland. Make it with MoFA will continue to be updated this summer, so visitors can check back for more projects.
Mini Masterpieces allows visitors to show-off their creativity in an online gallery by using whatever media is on-hand and their imagination. Visitors can send in their creation or put it on their fridge, or both.
For more information, visit mofa.fsu.edu.