Learning to Look and Looking to Learn: a Workshop on Visual Literacy
Visual Resources Association Foundation Regional Workshop
March 2, 2018

Hosted by the University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington

Sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Visual Resources Association Foundation

Workshop Description:

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 visual literacy instruction within their professional practice. 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.

Workshop Schedule:

Morning Session (Held in the University of Kentucky Art Museum): 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own: 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Afternoon: 2 p.m.-4:45 p.m. (15 minute break)


Jessica Sack, the Jan and Frederick Mayer Senior Associate Curator of Public Education at the Yale University Art Gallery, 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. There, she developed the Summer Teacher Institute, Weekend Workshop Series, and Teacher Leadership Program. All of these helped K-12 teachers and university faculty connect the Museum’s collection to their curricula. 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 is a frequent presenter at conferences and other museums. 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.


Registration for Learning to Look, Looking to Learn is now full. However, spaces open up on occasion. In order to be added to the first-come, first-served waitlist, please contact Betha Whitlow, VRAF Director, bwhitlow@wustl.edu

PLEASE NOTE: We will not be accepting on-site registrations for this workshop.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations for the VRAF regional workshop will only be accepted until February 16, 2018. Until this time, registrants will be refunded their full fee minus a $25 service charge. After February 16, cancellations will not be refunded. While every attempt will be made to hold the workshop on March 2, 2018, if inclement weather prevents either the instructor or a large number of participants from attending, 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. The VRAF is not responsible for refunding any previously made travel or lodging arrangements.

Day of Workshop Information (IMPORTANT)

For detailed information regarding the day of the workshop, including the schedule, maps, and locations, please see Day of Information.

Local Information

Location:   University of Kentucky Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center (Instruction Room 1)  and Singletary Center for the Arts (UK Art Museum)

Lucille Little Fine Arts Library, UK Art Museum

Interactive campus map

Wifi Information

Visitor Wireless service requires no registration.

Travel Information


Bluegrass Airport (LEX) is located less than ten miles from campus.  Additionally, regional airports in Cincinnati (CVG) and Louisville (SDF) are within 80 miles of Lexington.


There is visitor parking on campus.  The South Limestone Garage (PS#5) typically has the most available visitor parking with a short walk to the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library ($2.00 per hour with a $16.00 maximum).

Driving directions to (PS#5)

Visitor parking map (.pdf)

Local Bus and Taxi Service

The Transit Authority of Lexington (LexTran) provides service from the airport to downtown and from downtown around town.

There are a number of small taxi companies in Lexington; the airport maintains a list of those commonly found at the airport here.

Uber and Lyft services are also both available in Lexington.


Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lexington-Downtown is walking distance to campus (within .5 miles) but there numerous hotels just a short drive or longer walk away. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from downtown to the UK Art Museum and Fine Arts Library.

Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau Hotels.

Suggested Dining Options

There are many dining options both on and off campus. A lunch map will be provided in your packet.

Learning to Look, Looking to Learn Workshop Contacts:

For questions about the University of Kentucky venue, please contact Crystal Heis, cnheis00@uky.edu or Karyn Hinkle, karyn.hinkle@uky.edu.

For questions about registration or the workshop, contact Betha Whitlow, VRAF Director, bwhitlow@wustl.edu.