MANHATTAN — The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University may be closed for the time being, but the museum’s collections and new programming are accessible thanks to online interactive tools that are free to all.
“Museum staff members have been hard at work on these tools and programming since the Beach Museum of Art was closed indefinitely because of COVID-19,” said Linda Duke, director. “We hope everyone, including children and families, will enjoy visiting the museum virtually and often.”
Here are some ways to enjoy the Beach Museum of Art online:
• “Let’s Talk Art” is a new livestreamed conversation series with artists and others. The first is set for 5:30 p.m. CDT Thursday, July 9, with Norman Akers, artist and associate professor of art at the University Kansas. Registration is required for this free program so that audience numbers can be counted and is available at ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0ucOitqDgoGt2LXXTDeWKq3yS4g31X9FYb. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with information about how to join the program.
• The Beach Museum of Art’s current exhibition, “Voices of the West,” curated by Elizabeth Seaton, is now available to view online. It includes many never-before-displayed works from the museum’s collection, some by regional Native American artists. View the online exhibition in a PDF format at beach.k-state.edu/documents/OnlineExhibition_Voices_of_the_West_2020_MKBMA.pdf.
• The museum has a number of educational resources for schools, early childhood programs, social service organizations and home school groups. Find the details at beach.k-state.edu/participate/educational-resources/.
• Use the free app Smartify to view 2D and 3D artworks in the museum’s galleries. Smartify instantly returns text, audio and video interpretation. The app, for Apple and Android devices, can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. To use from home, click on the Explore tool to search for the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and its gallery offerings and to gain access to works in other museums. Take advantage of the app’s personal gallery making tool.
• Thinking about Pictures, or TAP, is the museum’s newest tool. TAP offers images of artworks in the museum’s current exhibition “Inspirations: Art for Storytelling.” Users can choose an image and then challenge themselves to type in their observations and interpretations. The app allows users to return often to respond to other images. Duke said the app can be used as an intergenerational activity. “If a young person cannot yet type in responses, an older child or adult can serve as the scribe,” she said. Start exploring TAP at kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1ZaF06qpsMInLeZ.
• To explore, research or enjoy the Beach Museum of Art’s collection of nearly 10,000 objects, use Verandah, the museum’s collection search tool. Learn more about Verandah at beach.k-state.edu/explore/collection/.
• Find fun interactive posts about regional art and artists on the Beach Museum of Art on its social media channels. Enjoy and share often on Facebook, /BeachMuseumofArt; Instagram, /beachmuseum; and Twitter, @BeachMuseum.
More tools and offerings will be added soon, so Duke said to check out the museum’s website frequently, beach.k-state.edu, to learn more. New offerings will soon include a cloud-based collection management system and online search tool called The Museum System and more online viewings of past and current exhibitions.