A Glimpse into an Art Adventure Guide’s Virtual Tour Experience
A virtual tour is a real-time tour experience facilitated by Mia Art Adventure Guides and Docents using Zoom or Google Meet. During these tours, the guide invites students to look closely at artworks on slides, then asks open-ended questions to help the students make connections and engage in conversations.
So far, 48 virtual tours have been given to schools, PreK through University, serving 983 students from September 2020 through January 21, 2021.
These virtual artful experiences have required the guides to drastically pivot from their normal tour routines, but many have said that they have been pleased with how the students have adapted to these new tour circumstances.
For example, Art Adventure Guide Barb Mikelson has given three virtual tours. The first tour was for a group of five home-schooled children, and the other two tours were for in-person classrooms. All three were on the “Amazing Animals in Art” theme. Barb said that they have all gone well and have been well received, even though a virtual tour is nothing like being in the museum and seeing the real art. Barb also added, “One advantage to giving a virtual tour is the ability to show details and close-up views of the art, something that is not easily possible in the museum. It is also easy to add in slides of complementary images to enhance the tour.”
Under normal circumstances, in-person school tours at Mia would be ramping up at this time of year, with spring right around the corner. But for now, while we are still in the midst of a pandemic, the creative and innovative virtual tours (which are also ramping up!) are a wonderful way to switch gears while continuing to bring the schools “into” the museum and view many of the treasures that Mia holds.