Flem­ing Col­lege stu­dents cu­rate new mu­seum ex­hibit

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local - ALEXSANDRA THOMP­SON alexsan­dra_thomp­son @ya­hoo.com

The Peterborough Mu­seum and Archives takes a look at the his­tory of footwear in their lat­est ex­hibit, If The Shoe Fits: Fash­ion, Func­tion and Footwear. It opened April 14 and runs un­til June 24.

The ex­hibit takes a look at the role of footwear in ev­ery­day life and cov­ers dif­fer­ent ar­eas where footwear was worn.

The project was also part of an eight-month as­sign­ment for stu­dents in the Mu­seum Man­age­ment and Cu­ra­tor­ship pro­gram at Flem­ing Col­lege, in part­ner­ship with the PMA.

It was a chance for 29 stu­dents to gain valu­able hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence at cu­rat­ing an ex­hibit.

The stu­dents spent the first four months do­ing re­search, from se­lect­ing ar­ti­facts to factfind­ing about the local area and defin­ing sub­ject ar­eas for the dis­play.

Then stu­dents de­vel­oped the look and feel of the ex­hibit, de­sign­ing in­for­ma­tion pan­els and writ­ing text for each area.

“The last four months have been ex­tremely busy,” said stu­dent Shar­ifa Ri­ley.

If The Shoe Fits con­tains 32 items from work boots to Vic­to­rian shoes and more.

“All of the arte­facts are from the mu­seum’s col­lec­tion and rep­re­sents a tiny frac­tion of what we have,” said stu­dent Shoshana Wat­son.

The old­est piece of footwear is from the mid 1800s, while the new­est is a pair of size 15 red heels worn dur­ing the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes fundraiser for the YWCA.

The stu­dents also built in in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments, like scav­enger hunts, colour­ing pages and more.

“Each of the groups has some­thing in­ter­ac­tive,” said Wat­son.

The stu­dents part­nered with local mu­se­ums.

Hutchi­son House lent a photo, while the Art Gallery of Peterborough sug­gested the scav­enger hunt. They also spoke with a local cob­bler as part of re­search.

Stu­dents are grate­ful for sup­port they re­ceived from both the mu­seum and their in­struc­tors.

"It’s been so amaz­ing. Ev­ery­one has been so ac­com­mo­dat­ing and teach us what we need,” said Wat­son.

“With the mu­seum and our pro­fes­sors, it’s been an amaz­ing pro­gram,” agreed Ri­ley.

As time in the pro­gram draws to a close, both Ri­ley and Wat­son look for­ward to start­ing their ca­reers.

Ri­ley came to the pro­gram with an un­der­grad de­gree in clas­si­cal his­tory and chose the pro­gram for sev­eral rea­sons.

"The pro­gram has good re­views and more em­ploy­ers rec­og­nize it. I’m able to get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence here," said Ri­ley.

The best part of the pro­gram has been dur­ing in­stal­la­tion of the ex­hibit in the main gallery.

“It’s great see­ing it come to­gether,” she said.

Wat­son stud­ied ar­chae­ol­ogy at Trent and took the course in place of a third year at Trent.

"I like teach­ing about his­tory," said Wat­son.

For Wat­son, the end re­sult is grat­i­fy­ing.

“Watch­ing ev­ery­thing get pulled to­gether, it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing," said Wat­son.

The stu­dents are hav­ing an open house for fam­ily and friends slated for April 26 from 2 to 4 p..m.

You can view the ex­hibit week­days, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; week­ends, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The mu­seum is lo­cated at 300 Hunter St. E.

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