University Museums Offering Educational Insight

The UCA museum hosts many different galleries throughout the year. Photo by John Sheesley
The UCA museum hosts many different galleries throughout the year. Photo by John Sheesley

The University museums offer an escape from the buzz of campus and allow students to lose themselves in the arts.

As CSU’s first art museum for visual arts, the University Art Museum puts on somewhere between seven and ten exhibitions during the year either from their own collection or other sources for art.


“They rotate in our four galleries and these are drawn from our permanent collections of art, or from loans or sometimes they are rented traveling exhibitions that someone else has curated and put together,” said Linny Frickman, director of the art museum.

As chief curator, Frickman and her team work to provide a multitude of different cultures to show in the museum, and allow the exhibitions to be used as teaching tools.

“In the exhibitions we try to show a very broad range that highlight excellence in the visual arts from different cultures, different time periods, and different media. Secondly, that almost everything that we do is driven by curriculum. We see ourselves as a teaching museum. We teach with our exhibitions and without collections that aren’t on view in a multitude of different ways,” Frickman said.

Through the museum students are able to help curate exhibitions and are taught how to handle artifacts and objects. They are also taught how to handle archival materials and how to work with lighting, and the back of house systems, along with much more.

The University Art Museum is not the only museum that sees themselves as a teaching museum; the other main museum on campus, the Avenir works to give students a place to practice their skills.

“In essence we are a teaching collection and a teaching museum; we are a part of the department of design and merchandising. And students and researchers can come in and get a hands on experience with the textiles and the clothing in our collection,” director Susan Torntore said.

As the other major museum on campus the Avenir works more with design, rather than with visual arts.

“We are a museum of textiles and clothing, and interior designs furnishings in essence, we have about 16,000 pieces in our collection, and their primarily 19 and 20th century they are historically and culturally significant artifacts,” Torntore said.

The University Art Museum not only works with putting on exhibits but also is a sponsor of Bringing Arts Integration to Youth. This program is in its fifth and works with Title 1 schools, third and fourth grades, where the kids can come in for a one day field trip each year. This time offers the students to learn about different forms of art, and although the museum is the main point of the trip, the children also learn about music, theater and dance.

“The campus museum is an interesting thing, it’s an interesting phenomena, it’s an interesting beast, because the campus museum really has a dual life, in that it serves the campus and it serves as the major community museum. Our visitation is higher from community members and visitors than it is from students,” said Frickman.


 College Avenue reporter Hannah Woolums can be reached at