Can Anyone Lead for Inclusion?

Can Anyone Lead for Inclusion: Minday Galik and Alison Kennedy presenting at the 2018 OMA Conference


Can anyone lead for inclusion? That was the question CMA’s Manager for Public Safety and Gallery Experience Mindy Galik and I posed during our roundtable presentation and discussion at the annual Ohio Museums Association conference, which took place this year in Dayton from April 14-16. Museum professionals and students from all over the state came together to learn from each other, connect with colleagues in the field, and enjoy six Dayton museums through group exploration and behind-the-scenes tours.

Equitas Health Institute kicked off a preconference workshop on serving the LGBTQ community with cultural humility and structural competency, providing resources and starting great conversations between participants. Speaker Ramona Peele highlighted the importance of asking questions, continuing education, and remembering that there is always more to learn. 

Equitas Health’s presentation on serving the LGBTQ community was a great precursor to our session the following day: “Can Anyone Lead for Inclusion? Gender Inclusivity at the Columbus Museum of Art.” We shared lessons learned from the museum’s recent addition of gender pronouns to staff name badges and steered conversation amongst participants about how to create change in their own institutions. After telling our story of struggle, mistakes, and triumph, Mindy and I asked two questions of our audience: “Why do good ideas often die?” and “Who needs to be at the table?” Participants broke out into small groups, discussing their own challenges and writing down their ideas on post-it notes. The big takeaway: change happens slowly, but small efforts have large impacts.

Presenting a session brought the great things happening at CMA to the attention of the rest of the Ohio museum community and has inspired potential partnerships between professionals in the Columbus area. The Ohio Museums Association conference provides a lovely opportunity to build relationships between people and institutions in the state of Ohio.

Be sure to check out the winners of the annual OMA awards, which were given out during the conference. Special shout out to the Massillon Museum for their Blind Spot: A Matter of Perception exhibition and Ohio History Connection for their Community Partnership Award for “Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey.”

– Alison Kennedy is Gallery Associate Team Captain, and Mindy Galik is Manager for Public Safety and Gallery Experience and an OMA Board Trustee.

Art in Bloom 2018 Designer Spotlight with Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson designing for Art In Bloom at Columbus Museum of Art

During Columbus Museum of Art’s biennial Art in Bloom, April 26-29, 2018, floral designers bring the galleries to life reinterpreting art through flowers. We sat down with floral designer Scott Robertson to talk music, flowers, fashion, and Monet’s garden.


As part of the April 27 program Symphony in Bloom, you’ll be creating arrangements accompanied by the Columbus Symphony. How does music inspire your design?
Music is very inspirational in my work. Sometimes when I listen to a beautifully arranged piece my creative visual imagination takes over and I imagine music as a movie or video. I create whole scenarios of sets, lighting, costumes, and of course flowers and gardens. I always hope my designs can evoke emotions in people as much as music, art, or movies…


How can people go about bringing a touch of Monet’s garden into their life?
There are many ways, but firstly call your local florist and talk to them about your vision and allow them to create something original for you, using the colors of a Monet painting. Treat yourself once a week or once a month to stunning fresh-cut flowers.

You could also start to plan your garden designs around the colors Monet would use in his paintings, and even some of the same variety of plants. If planned properly, your garden can give you three glorious seasons of Monet colors.

Another way that comes to mind, is choose a room in your home you would like to have for some serenity, and paint a wall a soothing shade of Monet blue. Add accessories in monochromatic color tones so you feel as if you were IN a Monet garden painting.


You’ve been successful in merging floral and fashion in the past. What suggestions do you have to help guests prepare their outfits for Fashion in Bloom?
For a fun event like this, I suggest COLOR COLOR COLOR! Use bright, saturated, monochromatic outfits so you stand out in the crowd, but also BECOME part of the art show!


What’s your favorite part of Art in Bloom?
My favorite part is no doubt watching people enjoy, explore, and experience each design by all of the phenomenal floral artists CMA has asked to be a part of such a wonderful show. I love to see how other florists have interpreted the artworks they’ve been paired with!


Can you give us a hint on what your floral installation may include?
Imagine an 8’ square metal structure with over 800 hanging glass test tubes….
And thank you to Dümmen Orange for partnering with me, and their dedication to the arts. Their plants and flowers bring joy to millions of people around the globe.


More about Robertson
Scott James George Robertson is an Ohio native who, since early childhood, has loved gardening, decorating, and art. Since then he has been designing with flowers and art for more than 25 years and has worked in Miami, New York City and now back to Cleveland where he started his own company STEMS FLEUR “The Flower Stems.” While in NYC Scott was privileged to work with Olivier Guigni for 5 years before opening his own design studio where he did work for Carolina Herrera, and other high-end fashion boutiques in Manhattan.

Back in Ohio he’s been designing for Columbus Fashion Week, Art in Bloom, The Cleveland Botanical Gardens Winter, Orchid and Spring shows, teaching classes, designing fun creative weddings, events and special projects.  


Join Scott Robertson at Art in Bloom April 26-29! Scott will be a featured installation designer, including wearable floral at Fashion in Bloom on Thursday, April 26 and will be presenting a unique floral demonstration inspired by the art of Claude Monet during Symphony with Monet on Friday, April 27. Click here for tickets and more information on both events. Space is limited.

Thousand People of Genoa Project in Columbus

Thousand Faces of Genoa Sister Cities Project

Columbus Museum of Art is proud to partner on the Thousand People of Genoa project. Greater Columbus Sister Cities International (GCSCI) with the generous support of Columbus City Council, will be hosting Emanuele Timothy Costa, a photographer from the Columbus sister city of Genoa, from March 25 – April 9. He is most known for his exhibit called Thousand People of Genoa, which is a collection of portraits that represents the culture of his hometown of Genoa. Timothy will be recreating this work with new subjects, the faces of individuals from throughout central Ohio, in a new exhibit,

The Thousand People of Genoa photo exhibit will be displayed at Columbus Museum of Art, the Cultural Arts Center, John Glenn International Airport, the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, March 25 – April 9, 2018.

The idea for this project began when Costa was working as a young photographer. While telling the stories of his community, he grew increasingly passionate about photography and realized his city can be best represented by the grace and humanity of its people, thus inspiring him to create the #ThousandPeople project. His inspiration is simple: he believes that one can learn someone’s story by simply looking into their eyes. That seeing a familiar face creates a sense of connection, belonging and understanding, regardless of how different another may appear. That each wrinkle has its own story and the viewer decides how to embrace the charm, mystery and passion that a person represents.

While in Columbus, Costa will begin a new chapter of the Thousand People project. In addition to displaying his current collection throughout various venues around Columbus, he will begin the Thousand People of Columbus exhibit. He will be taking photographs of the people in the Greater Columbus region. The photos in this collection will be displayed in an exhibit in Columbus’ sister city of Genoa, Italy, in 2019.

“When I visited Columbus in 2016, I was impressed by the diversity of the city,” said Timothy Costa. “Often, we become so consumed by our own lives that we miss the opportunity to meet the eyes of the people we pass, possibly missing a connection that could change our lives. Thousand People of Columbus will allow the community to discover themselves and show their unique personality to the rest of the world.”

Costa will be photographing Columbus residents at Columbus Museum of Art as part of Think Like an Artist Thursdays on April 5, 2018 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. You can also DIY your own Anthopologie-inspired pom-pom wall hanging with the help of Craftin’ Outlaws, plus music by the Andy Shaw Band and craft beer by MadTree Brewing. Cost of the program is Pay What You Want admission for nonmembers, and is free for CMA members. The first Thursday of the month visitors are invited to think like an artist and drop by CMA for opportunities to play games and make art, enjoy live music and DJs, and taste cocktails and craft beers.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with #Heartsfor Art



Celebrate Valentine’s Day week with #HeartsforArt. Once again CMA is joining museums across the country to celebrate Valentine’s Day with #HeartsforArt, a special way for art lovers to show off their love of art.

  • Pick up a heart at the CMA admission desk and place it in front of an artwork you love, from February 13-18, 2018.
  • Share your love of art by taking a picture and hashtag #heartsforart and tag @columbusmuseum across your favorite social media platforms.

Sharing Wonder

The Wonder Room is a one-of-a-kind gallery designed to foster imagination, experimentation, and storytelling in visitors of all ages. It encapsulates CMA’s values of creativity, experience, and relationships. Works of art are displayed in unexpected ways, and custom, hands-on activities are featured prominently near great works of art.

Leading up to the opening of the NEXT version of the Wonder Room, we asked visitors to share their Wonder Room photos and memories. Below are some of the terrific photos visitors shared.

The new Wonder Room will open in CMA’s JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity the weekend of October 28 with a special member debut on October 27 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

Have your own memories of the Wonder Room? Share your photos and tag us on social media: @columbusmuseum and #mycma. 


Teaching for Creativity Institute 2017

Creativity Institute

 The Columbus Museum of Art defines creativity as “the process of using critical thinking and imagination to generate new ideas that have value.”

A fairly straightforward definition, as most would agree, for a far more complex word. And no not complicated in structure or in practice, but in individual meaning. For those not artistically inclined in the traditional sense (like yours truly), creativity can be a scary word, a representation of lack of skill to draw or to paint—memories of your old art classes where you sat in the back with your head down. Yet, for those who attended the recent Teaching for Creativity (TFC) Institute at the Columbus Museum of Art, creativity became more than just a word.

As most have directly or indirectly experienced, the focus of today’s educational practice relies increasingly on teaching for test scores and data. The TFC Institute (held annually) like most of the work of the Learning Department at CMA, seeks to open people’s eyes and minds to their own individual creative abilities, in this case, with hopes of the educators bringing their new knowledge back to the classroom where creativity can find its way into everyday lessons and learning.

The four-day experience exposed the various teachers from across the state of Ohio (and one from West Virginia) to the versatility of creativity across age groups or subject matters. Through speakers, activities and collaboration with fellow attendees, these teachers were able to reflect upon out their own creative practice while making new connections, thinking about problems, and creating their own solutions.

Perhaps the most insightful moment of the four-day event came at the very tail end of the TFC Institute. In the final activity, the sixty participating educators imagined their “perfect summer evening” and then re-imagined that same evening as if they were a monster instead. Many educators chose to create a creature out of various pieces of cardboard, Styrofoam, tape, or whatever else they could get their hands on. The final results were as kooky as you’d expect from the mind of a young elementary student, with just a few adult twists and maybe some straighter lines.

This activity felt very important in the grand scheme of what the TFC Institute was trying to accomplish. Creativity is not just for the artistically inclined or the occasional art class, but rather a skill to be practiced by everyone no matter their age or profession. To see sixty adults sitting on the floor furiously cutting and taping away is a sight to behold. Not only for the slight absurdity of the situation, but for the enthusiasm and eagerness at the chance to create exhibited by educators who had been at the conference for four days.

To stifle creativity in the classroom, or in any environment, does a disservice to the organic originality and imagination that produces so many great ideas in the world. While being exact or following the guidelines has its place and time, impulsiveness can lead to heaps of new ideas and innovations. As students grow older and school become more and more vital to their future, those key problem solving-skills practiced in creative outlets can make learning that much easier. Breaking the norm and expectations of the classroom is easier said than done without a doubt, but with a goal in place to cultivate creativity in the minds of young learners and adults, the first steps are very much in place.

– Sam Brady is a senior at The Ohio State University, currently enrolled in the Middle Childhood Educational Studies program. As part of his program, he is completing a 10-credit hour internship with the Columbus Museum of Art’s Learning Department.