Museum brings arts to students, and vice versa

Viki Thompson-Wylder’s of the FSU Museum of Fine Arts (MOFA) in Tallahassee started with bringing arts to local schools – a collaboration that began back in 1999.

Thompson-Wylder has worked with numerous students throughout the years.  Her formula has helped many students find a way to express their ideas artistically, often with no arts background whatsoever.  “I usually start with asking them to tell me everything they see. I ask them to tell me what is the most predominant element and why they think the artist was most interested in that element,” she says. “This gives them a context for a message to begin to materialize. They might not like it but I feel like they’ll realize that there is some purpose for creating the artwork like that.”

“The arts bring disparate things together. They help prepare your mind for alternate solutions, thinking about things from every angle. This world needs that kind of thinking,” she says. “Art is the way to prepare your mind to do that. So when I see people really interacting with the art, thinking in ways that they haven’t thought about things before, that’s the really rewarding part to me.”

The students also get to tour the museum and learn about the various pieces on display.  At the same time, they are creating arts to be displayed at the museum.  In fact, Thompson-Wylder has bought one of the student’s creations – for $20.  Who knows?  Maybe one day that student will be a famous sculptor and that would have been the first piece he ever sold.


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