education gallery

Michael Carini Presents “Reign Upon Sonrise”


June 2-Sept 22 @ Martha Pace Swift Gallery

Historic Building 201 | 2820 Roosevelt Rd | San Diego 8am-8pm Daily

Free Parking | Free Admission


*Meet the artist first Friday of each month (5-8pm) for duration of exhibition

In August 2012, at the age of 28, I was reconnected with the biological family I never knew. At that time, I learned that my father, also named Michael, did not die in a car accident as I had always been told. Rather, I came to find out that he took his own life on my mother’s 21st Birthday, just shortly before I turned a year old. He did not leave a note. Almost 30 years later, in my most personal and emotional creation to date, I wrote that note for my father. Written through our collective heart, eyes, and hand, that piece of our soul is “Michael’s Note.”


“Michael’s Note” was followed by half a decade of critical introspection, reflection, and expression in the form of a visual history paradoxically representing a singular moment, time, and experience as well as momentum, time, and experience in their totality. Completed in the Spring at the age of 33 and given life in conjunction with the Summer Solstice, “Reign Upon Sonrise” is a five year meditative reflection of a simple complexity, or “simplexity.” A 49 canvas polyptych with a myriad of possibilities and experiences, this meditation is a personal and elemental narrative veiled under the umbrella of a fractalized spectrum of sub-narratives called “Reigndrops.” Peering into the human soul with no definitive beginning or end, may you enjoy your journey across the “Reignbough” and discover the enlightenment you seek in the “Reign Upon Sonrise.”


Dedicated to the father I never had the honor and privilege to know-

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Recently we bid farewell to an amazing group of Museum Education Fellows. Over the next few weeks we will be celebrating the hard work, scholarship, creativity, and contributions of each 2016-2017 Fellow. Jackie Du brought her background as a teaching artist and experience working with children and teens to the Education Division’s School Youth and Family Programs. In reflecting on her teaching practice, Jackie said, “My teaching aims to create opportunities for young people to develop personal agency, and build equitable and socially just relationships, through creative interactions and art-making practices. I teach through art because it is a method of communication that transcends spoken dialogues, and shares narratives that may not have otherwise been told.”

For her research, Jackie focused on Kindergarten learning and asked the question, “To what degree do students leave having thought deeply about the essential question that frames a lesson?” Here she shares her research methods and findings.

My experiences teaching Family Programs classes to children ages 2-6 led me to concentrate my research on what Deep Thinking at a Young Age can look like. In the field of Museum Education, Deep Thinking is discussed under the terms of critical thinking, “higher-order” thinking, an intellectual experience, and sense-making. These terms have been used in the field of Museum Education for almost a century, and are what we use here at the Brooklyn Museum in constructing a learning experience.

I studied Kindergarten classes that visited the museum through a school partnership. School Partnerships at the Brooklyn Museum consist of multiple guided gallery visits (GGVs) and at least one studio component. A major component of the guided gallery visits I designed involved Zines. Each page of the zine corresponded to a different part of the GGVs where students could respond to the artwork with drawing or writing. I surveyed 181 kindergarteners before they visited the galleries, and after the studio art-making component asking the essential question, “What are communities?” Students used their zines to write or draw their responses. I then compared their written responses and drawings from day 1 to their responses after participating in guided gallery visits and a printmaking activity.

For my findings, I referred back the the students’ zines and examined both the students drawing and writing. I conclude that the kindergarteners had in fact thought deeply about the topic of community through expressing personal connections in detailed drawings and writings. At the end, more students completed both the drawing and writing components, with more detail, and enthusiasm than in the beginning. It is evident to me that multiple gallery visits provided students with the opportunity to engage in deep thinking. 

After conducting this research I hope that the Education Division at the Brooklyn Museum can use this model to broaden its use of the essential question as an anchor for visioning as well as reflect on past programs, exhibitions, and projects.

Posted by Katherine Kusiak Carey and Jackie Du

Take deep breaths. At least Bill Nye is on your side.

Our director eliminated all educational in-gallery programs for young children. No story-times, no gallery classes, no interpretation or children’s guides. Nada. Because, you see, she wanted the museum to be a space for adults, not a daycare center. Adults can write checks. Toddlers can’t, so why waste time and resources on creating engaging content them. The Education Department’s protests and lamentations were ignored. 

Fast forward a couple of years: the director’s grandchild comes for a visit and after taking him through the museum one day, she complained that there was nothing for children to do there. So she demanded that we develop an in-gallery curriculum for children as well as a new section for family programs on the website. So, seething rage…but also, Yay?