John Michael Kohler Arts Center will debut its first student-created exhibit Sunday as part of its “Hiding Places: Memory in the Arts” multi-media event.
The exhibit represents work by the 15 students in the TimeSlips seminar at Etude High School. Students in the seminar - taught last quarter by Etude creative writing instructor Tad Phippen Wente - researched dementia and attended training at the arts center by TimeSlips founder Anne Basting.
TimeSlips is a creative story-telling method that benefits those suffering the effects of dementia. Students were able to practice the method in the classroom and with volunteers from the Senior Activities Center in Sheboygan.
The story-telling method involves having a facilitator show participants a staged photo and then asking questions about the photo to garner responses that are woven into a story.
“The idea is to have participants enjoy creating an imaginative story rather than struggle to remember facts and truths,” Wente explained.
Etude Principal Ted Hamm said the TimeSlips seminar was the school’s first foray into service learning. Etude, a half-day charter school in the Sheboygan Area School District, closed earlier this month and will be replaced in the fall by the full-day IDEAS Academy. Hamm said he plans to have further service learning opportunities for students at IDEAS Academy.
Students in the TimeSlips seminar started working with Yvonne Montoya, community arts specialist at JMKAC, before school was out in order to determine the various elements that would be represented in the exhibit. That work continued this summer for students Nick Resch, Emma Conklin and Mackenzie Dale, who worked with JMKAC lead preparator Erik Hansen to construct the exhibit. Nick, Emma and Mackenzie put in several 10-hour days at the arts center to create and install the exhibit.
“We really put it in their hands,” Montoya said. “The students had to decide what information to include and how to display it. We had a round-table discussion in which they had to defend their ideas, and we took everything into consideration.”
“I hope this is the first of many student-created exhibitions,” Montoya said. “It’s been great working with the Etude students. They give me a lot of energy!”
The exhibit includes photos that were taken for TimeSlips as part of a Connecting Communities program with photographer Celeste Nelms. There are also journal entries from students who participated in the seminar and reflected on what they learned about dementia and how they saw the TimeSlips method benefitting its sufferers.
“A monitor will be playing the video of the Etude students facilitating a TimeSlips procedure,” Nick said.
TimeSlips seminar participants Paige Heule and Elliott Saille will join Nick, Emma and Mackenzie today in serving as docents during “Hiding Places: Memory in the Arts” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The students will greet guests, share their work and answer questions about TimeSlips.
All galleries in the arts center will reflect a memory theme for today’s multi-media event that includes gallery talks, book signings, food, music and a screening of a documentary on grand palaces of the past by photographer and filmmaker Kendall Messick.
The Etude students’ TimeSlips exhibit will be available for viewing at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave., through the end of August. The arts center hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Parking continues to be an issue in downtown Sheboygan due to road construction, so please be advised that a short walk may be required.
Admission to the arts center is free. Donations are welcome.