Category Archives: Cell Phone Tour

25 Mini-Adventures at the PMA

By Molly Braswell
Learning and Interpretation Assistant

Inspired by Mamascout’s blog post, “25 mini-adventures in the library,” we wanted to share 25 mini-adventures for families to have at the PMA!

1. Grab a museum map from the Visitor Experience Desk. Now, with your eyes closed, point to a spot on the map. Open your eyes–that’s where you should explore today!

2. Pick a gallery and spend 10 minutes there. After 10 minutes have everyone in your family present their favorite piece and explain why they picked it.

3. Bring sketchbooks and pencils. Sit in a gallery and draw for a while.

4. Explore the new PMA Family Space: Design Lab.

5. Visit the McLellan House. Which room you would want as your bedroom if you lived there in the 1800s? Talk about what life would be like if this were your house—what would you eat or wear?

6. Bring a blank postcard to the museum, or pick one up in the PMA Store. Draw your favorite painting on the back and mail it to a friend.

7. Grab a cell phone and dial into Family Voices Cell Phone Tour.

8. Introduce yourself to a Gallery Officer. Ask what their favorite painting is in the gallery.

9. Check out the PMA’s Sculpture Gallery, then explore Portland on foot and look for more sculptures. Which are your favorites?

10. Visit a local antiques or furniture store. Pick out pieces that you think would look good in the McLellan House.

11. Come to a PMA Picks and hear PMA staff talk about their favorite works of art.

12. Sit on a bench in a gallery and make up stories about the other museum visitors. Who are they? Where are they from? Are they from Maine or visiting from away? Which artwork in that gallery do you think is their favorite?

13. Head up to the third floor to Voice of Design: 25 Years of Architalx. Touch the 17-foot tall tower. What happens? What do you see?

14. Visit the four Stop and Look Stations located through the museum. Each family member can listen to a different audio clip and then summarize it for the others.

15. Look up! Pay attention to the architecture of the PMA. Take the stairs and think about why the architect chose to put the windows and stairs where he did.

16. Go on a safari! Find as many animals in works of art as you can. Split into teams and explore the museum. Did both teams count the same number of animals?

17. Have family members take turns standing in front of paintings and closing their eyes. The other family members can try to describe the painting. Once the family member opens their eyes, you can see how successful you were.

18. Find a painting with a lot going on and make up a story about what is happening. Who are the people in the painting? What are their names? What happened right before this scene? What happened right after?

19. Visit the PMA and then take a walk in the woods. Look at the trees and the flowers like you would look at a painting; notice all of the colors and shapes in nature.

20. Look at the paintings of boats, fishermen, and the ocean in the second floor gallery, then take a walk down to the wharfs. Do the boats look the same as in the painting? What is different?

21. Give your kids each a few dollars to pick out their own treats at the PMA Cafe. Enjoy your snacks while you talk about the artwork you saw that day.

22. Visit the PMA Store. Browse the selection of children’s books and creative games.

23. After your day at the PMA, go home and select objects from your house to create your own museum exhibition.

24. Invite your friends and take them on your own PMA tour.

25. Pick an artist you like and then walk to the Portland Public Library down the street! Look up that artist and read about their life.

“Don’t We Live in Amazing Times?”

By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinator of Special Projects

When Dana Baldwin, our Director of Education, and Stacy Rodenberger, our Coordinator of School Programs, were in the galleries last week testing out our latest experiment in education, a patron turned to them and said, “Don’t we live in amazing times?” This is definitely true, as you will experience if you come to the Museum’s McLellan House for a visit.

This week we posted 10 QR Codes around the House that link to videos made when we restored the House in 2002. What are QR Codes you ask? You may recognize them as the square graphics that you may have seen on your last flight boarding pass, on advertisements, or on business cards. This graphic can be read by a QR reader…something very easy to download onto your phone and links to any url. By taking a picture of the graphic, your phone will automatically link up to the videos that we have uploaded on You Tube.

When we saw how easy the QR reader was to download, we realized that it had great educational potential here at the Museum. These videos that we had beautifully made in 2002 have been given new life. Go through the House and view the man who restored the trim on the Palladian window, or the chief curator at the time talking about wallpaper in the 1800’s and how we choose what you see today.

Technology is always racing forward, but here is a great way to use it to be able to look back. I hope you can enjoy these next time you are in the museum. Enjoy!

Waiting for Driskell

By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinator of Special Programs

At six yesterday morning my eyes popped open ready for this exciting week. Finally, the exhibition Evolution: Five Decades of Printmaking by David C. Driskell will open and all the celebration events will begin!

We are so fortunate to have David Driskell as a summer resident of Maine and that he has stayed a bit longer than usual to be at the opening events of this exhibition. Last night the Committee of 100 had a lecture and private walk through the exhibition with David. Hearing him talk about his work and his tremendous experiences as artist, professor of art, collector, and curator was a treat for all those there.

Today, I will be the lucky one who is able to spend the morning with David as we go through the exhibition and pick out objects to include in his audio tour that will be available for the first time as a cell phone tour. It will be fantastic to hear what he has to say about his own work and be able to share this with the public. His professional and disarming personality make me know that it will be a very enjoyable and fruitful morning.

Then on Wednesday night, David will be speaking about his work and career at the Eastland Park Hotel (6 p.m.) before the big opening celebration here at the Museum. As the Nelson Social Justice Fund speaker, his talk should be the highlight of the season as he shows us images and gives us greater understanding of his work and the influences that have formed his career. Join us!