Professional Development Opportunity

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that registration is now live for Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy, to be held on March 2, 2018. This workshop will be hosted by University of Kentucky Libraries in Lexington, KY, and is open to cultural heritage professionals, the information, museum, and educational communities, and anyone interested in visual culture. Learning to Look, Looking to Learn is one of four workshops being offered in the 2017-2018 VRAF Regional Workshop Program. The VRAF is grateful to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for their continued support of this exciting opportunity to partner with cultural heritage and educational institutions.

As our culture moves from an oral tradition to a visual one, an increasing emphasis is being placed on developing the visual literacy skills of both educators and students, uniquely positioning those who work with visual media to provide necessary visual literacy training and instruction. This workshop will provide participants with the tools to develop and implement a visual literacy training program. Part one of this workshop will focus on visual literacy skills and pedagogical approaches by exploring objects at the University of Kentucky Art Museum. The afternoon session will focus on ways for participants to apply these pedagogies to their own work and institutions. Participants will discuss and develop ways to implement and evaluate their own visual literacy programs as well as how digital archives, art objects, and other primary sources can be used by staff, students and faculty. The question of what it means to teach from collections within a range of professional perspectives—including from information, museum, and education contexts—will also be explored.

Learning to Look, Looking to Learn will be taught by Jessica Sack, the Jan and Frederick Mayer Senior Associate Curator of Public Education at the Yale University Art Gallery. Jessica has worked in the field of museum education for more than fifteen years. In that time she has been developing professional development programs in Visual Literacy for a variety of audiences including librarian, teacher, and faculty workshops, and training graduate students as museum educators. In addition, Jessica works with area teachers and faculty, helping them find ways to teach from objects and hone their own observation skills. Prior to Yale, Jessica was the Senior Museum Educator and Coordinator of Teacher Services at the Brooklyn Museum. She has contributed to publications including The Caring Museum: New Models of Engagement with the Ageing, Interpreting the Art Museum, “Looking to Learn, Learning to Teach” in the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, and Picturing a Nation: Teaching with American Art and Material Culture. Jessica received her M.Phil. in Ethnology and Museum Ethnography from Oxford University, England, and a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University. She previously instructed Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy at the University of California Berkeley and at Colorado College.

To register for Learning to Look, Looking to Learn and to learn more about the workshop, visit The fee for this day-long workshop is $125. If you have questions about registration, feel free to contact Betha Whitlow, VRAF Director, For questions about the venue, please contact Crystal Heis, or Karyn Hinkle,