Home Education and Careers University of Illinois Professor’s Astonishing Approach to ‘Building Connections’ Leaves Illinois Art Education Association in Awe

University of Illinois Professor’s Astonishing Approach to ‘Building Connections’ Leaves Illinois Art Education Association in Awe

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University of Illinois Professor’s Astonishing Approach to ‘Building Connections’ Leaves Illinois Art Education Association in Awe

Kamila Glowacki: Bridging Art and People through Meaningful Connections

CHAMPAIGN — Kamila Glowacki, the education coordinator at Krannert Art Museum, goes beyond sharing information with museum guests. Her job entails fostering an exchange of ideas and collaborative efforts to find meaning in art pieces.

Award-Winning Art Education Museum Educator

Glowacki’s exceptional work in designing and leading tours and programs for all age groups has earned her the prestigious title of the 2023 Art Education Museum Educator of the Year, awarded by the Illinois Art Education Association.

Discovering Connections between People and Art

Glowacki believes that finding connections between people and art is akin to building a case, using evidence from the artwork to understand why individuals are drawn to certain aspects of a piece. She warmly welcomes and values all interpretations, even when children suggest unconventional ideas like associating a work with “Paw Patrol.”

An Artist’s Soul

Art has always played a significant role in Glowacki’s life. She uses it as a medium to process events and emotions. From her role as a museum educator to her endeavors as a musician touring with her band, Nectar, art permeates every aspect of her being.

Merging Art and Music

Nectar, initially a solo project, has evolved into a full band with two studio albums. This punk and do-it-yourself music scene contrasts with the polished atmosphere of Glowacki’s day job. However, she believes that playing with the band has enhanced her work at the museum, as both spheres engage in constant conversation.

The Birth of “Art Remastered”

In 2017, as a graduate student, Glowacki sought to unite her passion for art and music, leading to the creation of “Art Remastered.” This innovative program invites local musicians to select artworks displayed in the museum and compose music inspired by them. The audience has the unique experience of hearing the musical response while viewing the corresponding artwork. “Art Remastered” aims to engage audiences who may not typically visit museums or feel comfortable with art but resonate with music.

A New Perspective on Museums and Music

The program not only introduces new audiences to museums but also allows the “museum crowd” to explore music genres outside the traditional “classical” space. Glowacki is delighted by the diverse cultures converging around art through this initiative. Challenging the perception of art museums as elitist and untouchable, the program strives to strike a balance between visitor comfort and preserving the art.

Creating Spaces for Rest and Reflection

Glowacki has been instrumental in launching “Rest Lab” at Krannert Art Museum. This recurring installation offers visitors a designated area to take a break between exhibits. “Rest” may involve engaging in art activities, reading, or simply relaxing on a couch while watching peaceful wave videos. The Rest Lab evolves with each installation, incorporating various mediums such as music, Plexiglas, and comic books.

An Advocate for Inclusion

Glowacki’s artwork often explores themes of home and her Polish heritage. As a museum educator, she recognizes the need to advocate for historically underserved groups who have been excluded from museums rooted in a White colonial history. Her goal is to make art accessible to as many people as possible and to ensure that museums become spaces where different heritages are equally represented.

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