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Learning to Look and Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy (Part 1)

May 7, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Visual Resources Association Foundation Regional Workshop

Learning to Look and Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy


May 7 and May 14, 2021, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm EDT

Instructors: Jessica Sack and Rachel Thompson


As we now work in hybrid settings—in person and online—there is an increasing challenge to develop 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 two-part workshop will provide participants with the tools to develop and implement visual literacy instruction within their professional practice both in person and using online platforms such as Zoom.
Part one of this workshop will focus on visual literacy skills and pedagogical approaches by using Zoom to engage with objects from museums, libraries, and archives. Part two 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 addressed.


This workshop will be hosted using Zoom video conferencing. The link and password will be emailed to participants in advance. Recordings will be made available to registered participants for a limited time after each session. Lecture materials will be made available to registered participants following each session.


Jessica Sack is 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 twenty 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” 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.

Rachel Thompson is the John Walsh Fellow in Museum Education at the Yale University Art Gallery. A former Wurtele Gallery Teacher at the museum, Rachel is a graduate of the Yale Divinity School and holds an M.A.R. with a certificate in Education Leadership and Ministry. Prior to coming to Yale, Rachel was an English teacher in San Antonio after earning her B.A. in English and Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Austin. As the John Walsh Fellow, Rachel continues to teach in the Gallery while developing curricular materials for Pre-K–12 and university audiences. She also facilitates professional development workshops for educators, both in person and online, on using works of art as teaching tools.


If you have questions about registration, contact Chris Strasbaugh, VRAF Director, strasbaugh.2@osu.edu.



Cancellations for the VRAF Regional Workshop will only be accepted until May 3, 2021. Until this time, registrants will be refunded their full fee minus a $25 service charge. After May 3, 2021, cancellations will not be refunded. While every attempt will be made to hold the workshop at the stated time, however, if the instructor is unable to hold the workshop at that time for any reason, the workshop will be rescheduled. Refunds of the registration fee will only be issued if you are unable to attend the workshop on the rescheduled date.

Workshop Contacts:

If you have general questions about the workshop, please email the Regional Workshop Implementation Team at vraf.rwit@gmail.com.

If you have questions about registration, contact Chris Strasbaugh, VRAF Director, strasbaugh.2@osu.edu.


May 7, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Chris Strasbaugh