One way in which the Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg State University are immensely unique is in the collaborative effort that exists between the museum and the university’s Communication Media students. This marks the second year in which college students have helped conceive ideas, create designs, and promote exhibts featured at the Fitchburg Art Museum. First starting with the Jeffu Warmouth show, this collaboration between the art museum and university has existed since the 2013- 2014 academic year. Proving to be such a tremendous success, this collaborative effort continued into the 2014- 2015 academic year for the “One Language is Never Enough" exhibition (focusing on Latino artists in Southern New England.) This collaborative effort is unlike most in which the students get firsthand experience at playing significant roles in the implementation of designs, marketing, and publicity for an actual art show. Through this unique collaboration, students are able to learn from a unique experience. Although there are a number of collaborative efforts between colleges and local art museums that exist elsewhere, it is extremely rare for creative designs, and ideas by undergraduates to be utilized to the extent that they are. The exhibition works to bring value to both institutions. This collaborative effort has twice over brought immense success and well deserved praise to both the Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg State University.
Naturetech marks the third collaboration between the school and museum. When I first signed up for Document Design taught by Rob Carr, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but being in this class and being able to play such a significant part in the implementation of different publicity methods has given me real world experience that is immensely unique to Fitchburg State University and the Fitchburg Art Museum. Although naturetech marks the third collaboration between FAM and FSU, this is the first time that a blog and video team have existed to bring even more innovation to the publicity aspect of the show. The naturetech blog is the product of six students at Fitchburg State including myself, Tina Lam, Michael Wallman, Sarah Morin, Anthony Paternoster, and Miguel Fleitas. Working on the creation of this blog has been a once in a lifetime experience. The video team (made up of several students majoring in Film and Video and Photography, have been working diligently to develop a promotional video for not just naturetech but Fitchhburg Art Museum as a whole. For the two previous shows, there was never a blog or video team that existed for the promotion of the art exhibition, but it is an implementation that has been met with great enthusiasm by the students and great success of the museum.
It is because of the great rapport the museum and university have established, as well as the ardent efforts of curators of the show, Mary M. Tinti, Nick Capasso, Fitchburg State Document Design Professor Robert Carr, and the dedicated students that continue to make this collaborative effort such a success. This collaboration is a wonderful model of the impressive potential that can come from an institutional collaboration such as the one that exists between FAM and FSU, and will continue in the future to be the product of more exceptional work that benefits not just the museum, but the university and students as well.