On October 6th, the Exhibit Planning and Developing instructor assigned the group members and gave each group the project details. The R. Tait McKenzie Outreach Exhibit was assigned to Kyle Allen, Theola Ally, Sarah Anne Craymer, Michelle McMillan and Sarah Emily Rathwell. Our group was very lucky, as each member was an extremely organized and motivated person.
Once in our group, we went over the project description. We were to create an outreach exhibit promoting the R. Tait McKenzie Memorial Museum. It was to include promotional materials and educational programming. We established team project roles based on our personal interests and career goals: Kyle was chosen to be our Exhibit Designer and Preparator; Theola became our Exhibit Conservator and Registrar; Sarah Anne wanted to be the Curator of Education; Michelle volunteered to be the Exhibit Public Relations Officer; and, Sarah Emily preferred the role of Exhibit Curator. We all agreed that everyone should be involved in creating and maintaining the budget. In terms of project managers, our team elected two: Sarah Anne and Michelle. Sarah Anne would manage the Facebook page and keep everyone up-to-date with messages over Facebook; Michelle would manage the wiki page on our school’s course management system, known as Blackboard, as well as creating the schedules that our team would follow from week to week.
As a group, we brainstormed ideas for an outreach exhibit. Sarah Emily came up with the idea to use a pod because it would be easy to put up and take down. A pod is a pop up display unit or a free standing portable display system that uses magnets, clips or bands to attach panels to a collapsible metal frame. Another idea floating around was to just get banner stands and make banners. From the description the museum gave us, it also sounded as though they wanted a craft or activity that they could do at the booth.
Photograph of R. Tait McKenzie
Since no one in the group had a clear understanding of exactly who R. Tait McKenzie was, we looked up his bio on Wikipedia, then googled some images of his artwork. We all agreed we would need to visit the R. Tait McKenzie Memorial Museum soon, as the information gathered from the internet was scant. Collectively, we wrote an email to Stephanie Kolsters, museum manager and curator at the Mill of Kintail, to establish a meeting with her and visit the museum at 10 am on Wednesday, October 13. We looked up the directions to the Mill, and decided on a time and place that we would meet to drive to the museum together.
To prepare for our visit to the Mill, we each made up a set of questions to ask Stephanie. We then emailed our questions to her so she could prepare for our visit. By this time, Stephanie had emailed us back with a confirmation, and our team spent the last hour of class sharing stories and experiences, not all of them museum related.