The largest exhibition gallery in the CU Art Museum was converted into a classroom space that was suitable for object-based study of artworks in the museum collection. Working with the Office of Space Optimization and the Asst. Dean of Infrastructure, Stephen Martonis converted the gallery into a teaching space that was COVID-compliant. Given that object-based study needs to occur in person and that the objects themselves could not travel outside the museum for insurance reasons, the class would have otherwise been cancelled. The gallery classroom was also used as a space that facilitated class discussions and thesis defenses for the MFA studio art thesis installations. Given that the museum was closed to the public, classes would not have been able to view and critique the MFA installations without this space.
The room that the museum utilized to facilitate classes that studied artwork was too small to be COVID-compliant. The class itself could not be successful as a remote modality given the in-person, close-looking needed for object study. The objects could not easily travel outside of the museum given the crating and transportation that would be needed and for insurance reasons. Converting the gallery space saved the classes from being cancelled. Additionally, we did not have a space for classes and thesis committees to view and discuss the MFA. Viewing the MFA installations in-person for critique and discussion is critical.
The conversion of the gallery to a classroom space for object-based study occurred in the Summer of 2020 for classes in Fall 2020. The converted space was then used as critique and discussion space for the MFA installations in Spring 2021.