Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

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SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art has turned to virtual media amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum has been closed since the middle of March due to the coronavirus crisis.

In the meantime, MGMoA has been posting to their social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They have posted various photos of artwork from their permanent collection, LIVE virtual tours through their Facebook, videos of pieces from their back-collection room (where not many people get to visit), and various nature photos from around the museum.

Viewers have also been able to see an ancient Anasazi mug, a German Fowling Crossbow, real poison dart arrows from Africa, a low relief carving from the Temple of King Philip II, and a Chinese Sword called a Zhan Ma Dao.

The museum plans to continue making these videos to help connect viewers to their collection and answer any questions that may come up.

The MGMoA has also been participating in virtual live tours where staff allow viewers to see what is in the permanent gallery, and since it’s a live video feed, followers are encouraged to ask questions that are answered on the spot.

Officials with the museum say they are brainstorming a way to provide a virtual tour to be uploaded to YouTube that will be broken down into grade and age levels from Pre-K to college level tours. This will allow educators and teachers to share the museum collections in sections to their students depending on what they are teaching and what grade level their students are.

Currently, the museum is working toward an opening at the beginning of June, and say the health and safety of their staff, visitors, volunteers, and students are held in the highest regard.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, museum staff decided to cancel Summer Art Programs.

“It was a hard decision. We care about the safety and health of our young artists and students that participate in our art classes and programs, but it’s only for this summer we trust, and we hope to be able to invite our young artists back to the museum in the fall,” says Amber DuBoise-Shepherd, Manager of Education and Outreach.

DuBoise-Shepherd is brainstorming on creating art kits, for a fee, that parents and guardians can pick up from the museum to create art at home.

“Art is very crucial now more than ever and so that is why we would like to reach out and get art projects into the hands of our local kids” says DuBoise-Shepherd.

If an art kit is something you would be interested in, email the museum at education@mgmoa.org.

The MGMoA is still accepting donations and you can find out more at www.mgmoa.org.

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