During Spring 2020 the Block Museum staff and students continue to connect online and advance the Museum’s teaching and learning mission. This week, we check in on student worker Lois Biggs, who serves as our Tour Coordinator. In addition to being indispensable at The Block, Lois is senior in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in art history and comparative literary studies.
I am the Block Museum’s Tour Coordinator! I work with campus partners, community groups, and student docents to plan engaging gallery experiences. The Block has been a central part of my undergraduate experience, and over the last few years, I have also worked as a docent and student worker in the Engagement department.
I am spending this online quarter living with my family in Grand Rapids, MI. Working from home has been a big adjustment–not only is my team adjusting to new systems and schedules, we are working to move the entire docent program online for the spring! Platforms like Microsoft Teams and Box have been helpful to us as we brainstorm and strategize this transition, and I’m excited about the project we developed: docents will build deep knowledge of an object in the Block’s permanent collection in preparation for next year’s 40th anniversary exhibition. We are also hosting virtual “Block Spot” meetings where docents can continue to connect (unfortunately sans our usual Trader Joe’s snacks)! I am also working on a research project with curators Janet Dees and Kathleen Bickford Berzock. In the past couple of weeks we have shared some great dialogue about reciprocal, community-based exhibition development.
I miss spending afternoons in the Block library and seeing my wonderful colleagues every day, but working on these projects reminds me of the importance of art in our everyday lives, especially during challenging times like these. Engaging with art–both online and offline!–opens space for reflection, for dreaming, for building strength and community.