Students, museum staff spring ideas

Leah Bryce

Bringing together students and the community, the staff of the Wichita Falls Museum of Art met with students concerning the creation of more student involvement with the museum. Previous to the student forum, Suzanne Shipley, university president, designed the Museum Task Force on Sept. 9 to explore and imagine ways to collaborate together.

“I came to listen and not to express my ideas and hear what students have in mind,” Francine Carraro, museum director, said. “I wanted to know if students have been coming to the museum or why they haven’t been coming. We want to know what we can do better.”

Many of the ideas circulated at the forum concerned implementing the location and direction to the museum in campus maps, orientation and campus tours. The museum is offers free admission and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“The most realistic idea would be inclusion in the campus tours,” Aaron Campbell, art senior, said. “That seems like an easy fix, or generally just not excluding the museum from anything campus related.”

After hearing from the students, another forum will be held at the museum at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 to hear from the faculty of both the museum and university for further ideas.

“I think the biggest problem the museum has had is being involved,” Selena Mize, art senior, said. “Danny Bills [museum curator of collections and exhibitions] told us that they have very little communication with the Fain Fine Arts center.”

Another series of ideas presented focused on student produced events, coffee shops, gift shops, or student participation in marketing the museum. With these forums, they hope to not only bring in more student involvement, but also community.

“We need to do more to make sure we are meeting everyone’s needs,” Carraro said. “Well I think in long range plans a sculpture garden is possible, and a new performing arts center is also possible.”