Since the 1960s, artists have been critically examining the practices of museums, at times critiquing the idea of what a museum is and how it presents its stories. One of the most influential exhibitions of Institutional Critique was Mining the Museum–an installation by artist Fred Wilson at the Maryland Historical Society, in collaboration with The Contemporary.
In this episode–made 25 years after Mining the Museum–the Punks explore the role outsiders such as artists and external consultants play in driving creative change and innovation within museum practice. What can outsiders do within the institution that permanent staff cannot? What are the limitations they face? And how does a reliance on external talent impact the sustainability of progress in the museums they work with?
George Ciscle has mounted groundbreaking exhibitions, created community arts programs, and taught fine arts and humanities courses for close to 50 years. He trained as a sculptor, studying with Isamu Noguchi. For 15 years he developed high school interdisciplinary curriculum and work-study programs for the emotionally disadvantaged. In 1985, he opened the George Ciscle Gallery where he promoted the careers of young and emerging artists.
From 1989-1996 Ciscle was the founder and director of The Contemporary, an “un-museum,” which challenges existing conventions for exhibiting art in non-traditional sites focusing its exhibitions and outreach on connecting artists’ works with people’s everyday lives. From 1997-2017, as Curator-in-Residence at Maryland Institute College of Art, he continued to develop new models for connecting art, artists, and audiences by creating the Exhibition Development Seminar, Curatorial Studies Concentration and the MFA in Curatorial Practice.
Jen Brown is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Engaging Educator. Through EE, her pedagogical approach of Improv as Continuing Education has reached over 25,000 people – all non-actors!
Since 2012, Jen has given three TEDx Talks on the power of Improv, grown EE to three locations in NYC, Winston-Salem, NC and LA, and recently began The Engaging Educator Foundation, a 501(c)(3) which offers free and low-cost Improv workshops for educators, at-risk adults, teens and students on the Autism Spectrum. Jen holds degrees and accreditation from Marquette University, City College of New York, St. Joseph’s University and Second City.
Museopunks is presented by the American Alliance of Museums.