OSU Expands Arts Education Programming

Story by Katherine Winnicki, OSU Museum of Art

The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art has recently expanded its education team to include a K-12 Educator. Catarina de Araújo is originally from Recife, which is located in the Northeast portion of Brazil. Cat came to Stillwater as an international student at OSU where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and met her husband, a devoted Cowboy. They have now settled in Stillwater to raise their family.

Cat brings extensive experience in art and museum education. For nearly five years, Cat taught at the Chicago High School for the Arts where she served as their Art History, Integrated Arts, and Professional Development teacher. Later she spent two years in Dallas where she worked as a Museum Educator for the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Meadows Museum before moving back to Oklahoma. In 2018, Cat returned to OSU in pursuit of a Masters in Art History, helping her connect with the OSU Museum of Art.

As a certified teacher who is passionate about teaching and learning, Cat joins the Museum education team with a focus on Public School programming, developing lessons and programs that will enrich students’ experience with the museum’s collection. She is interested in building long-term relationships with teachers, so she can not only bring more students to the museum, but also facilitate in-classroom learning. “The visual world can be such a rich tool for learning. This year, I will listen and talk to local teachers and work with them towards a common goal: that of engaging students in a meaningful educational experience that excites them to learn, whether through building, drawing, writing, or moving.” Since the OSU Museum of Art opened in 2014, the expansion of education programs has been ongoing. Through offering a variety of programs, the museum has sought ways to connect with the community as well as the university. Adding a third position focused on youth and public programs is an example of how OSU is interested in investing in art education. In the future Cat would like to build programs focusing on younger children, newborns to pre-k, finding ways to help with their development stages through art and hands-on activities.  

In the short amount of time Cat has been here, she has already made her mark at the museum. On June 25, the Oklahoma Future Native Leaders group visited the museum to view our Southwest in Motion: Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi paintings from the Charles Little Collection exhibition. Southwest in Motion invites visitors to discover the complex relationship between culture, place, resistance, and survival in the Southwest. Curated by OSU students working with Dr. Trever Lee Holland and Dr. Louise Siddons, with the help of community members from across Oklahoma the show is an opportunity to consider how artworks themselves are often in motion—traveling from artist, to collector, to museum. 

The exhibition served as a focal point for the two-hour program with 33 teens from across the State. During their time, each student had a photo of themselves taken while they were in a pose that they felt like themselves in, the photos were later given to the students to embellish in ways they felt showed their identities. This activity was chosen to show the importance of how movement and migration can affect one’s identity, similar to those paintings in the exhibition. At the end of the day, the group left with a different perspective of not only art but also movement, identity and hopefully themselves. 

Southwest in Motion will be on display at the OSU Museum of Art until September 14th, 2019, a closing reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 5th.