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Huntington Museum of Art and Mountwest Community and Technical College team up to bring art to students

Jan. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A unique partnership between the Huntington Museum of Art and Mountwest Community and Technical College is bringing art to life for students.

Mountwest instructor Samantha Belcher has taught the basic art history, art elements and principles of art class that has been conducted three of the past four semesters at the museum. Through the collaboration, students are able to experience art with a whole new perspective.

"When art is taught in a regular classroom, students only get to see slides; there's no way to actually experience the art," Belcher said. "Students need a one-on-one experience with art to really see what it looks and feels like."

Belcher, who has previously taught art in a typical classroom setting, explained that art is meant to be viewed fully in the round.

"Students are now able to recognize the difference between oil paintings and acrylics, drawings and prints and see kinetic sculpture," Belcher said.

The class also participates in docent-led tours the fourth Tuesday of each month, allowing students to get a better idea how a museum works beyond an art appreciation class. Dr. Keith Cotroneo, president of Mountwest, emphasized the unique nature of the relationship and his appreciation of the museum's partnership.

"Few towns are fortunate enough to have such an incredible resource as we do with HMA and for the museum to also be willing to open their doors to our students is an incredible opportunity," Cotroneo said. "It is by their grace that we're able to offer our students a rich educational experience."