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

Visual Resources Association Foundation Regional Workshop
February 17, 2017

Hosted by the Visual Resources Center, Art Department, Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center

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

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 Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. 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. 

Morning: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Afternoon: 2 p.m.-4:45 p.m. (15 minute break)

Welcome letter and "Day Of" information from Meghan Rubenstein, local host of "Learning to Look, Looking to Learn"

We are looking forward to welcoming you on Friday, February 17, to Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (CSFAC) for Learning to Look and Looking to Learn with Jessica Sack!
The morning session will be held at the CSFAC, located at 30 W Dale St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. There is free parking in the lot directly across from the entrance to the museum. When you arrive, please check in at the VRAF Regional Workshop table in the main hallway to the right as you enter the building. Check in will open at 9:30 am and the workshop will begin at 10:00 am.
In addition to the materials for the day, your welcome packet will include instructions on how to connect to the public wifi network and a list of nearby restaurants. I have included a digital map of some of our local lunch spots below, in case you like to plan ahead. The location of the CSFAC and the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, the location for the afternoon session, are also marked on this map.

If you have any questions before the event, please let me know. I can be reached by email (meghan.rubenstein@coloradocollege.edu) or on my office phone: 719-389-6375. 


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, one of two VRAF Regional Workshops offered during the program’s 2016 pilot year.


The fee for the workshop is $125. Register using the following form: https://sites.google.com/site/visualliteracycoloradocollege/.  

If you have questions about registration, feel free to contact Betha Whitlow, VRAF Director, bwhitlow@wustl.edu.

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

Colorado College Scholarship Program

We are pleased to announce that Colorado College is offering a number of partial scholarships in the amount of $75 to support attendance at Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy. For more information, visit http://tiny.cc/workshop-scholarships. The deadline for application is December 15, 2016.


Cancellations for the VRAF regional workshop will only be accepted until February 3, 2017. Until this time, registrants will be refunded their full fee minus a $25 service charge. After February 3, cancellations will not be refunded. While every attempt will be made to hold the workshop on February 17, 2017, 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.


For questions about the Colorado College venue, please contact Meghan Rubenstein, Curator of Visual Resources, Art Department, Colorado College, Meghan.Rubenstein@coloradocollege.edu

Travel to Colorado Springs

Colorado College in Colorado Springs is located approximately 90 miles from Denver, CO, and is served by several transportation options, including air travel, Amtrak, and Greyhound. For travel within Colorado Springs, both taxis and Uber are available.

Air travel

Colorado Spring Airport (COS): Taxi available from airport to downtown, $25-$30

Denver International Airport (DEN): Shuttle available from airport to downtown Colorado Springs, $50 one-way, $90 round-trip

Note: If you are flying directly into Colorado Springs, it is best to connect in a city other than Denver in February (i.e. Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, or Phoenix).

Train and Bus

Amtrak: http://www.amtrak.com/home

Greyhound: http://www.greyhound.com

The Greyhound/Amtrak Station is located four blocks from the Colorado College campus.

Driving Directions



There is free parking at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center as well as no-cost street parking around the museum and the Colorado College campus.

If you prefer to leave your car in a campus lot, day parking permits for Colorado College are available for $5. Visitors can purchase passes using cash or change at the yellow pay stations located in the C1 lot. Exact change or small bills are recommended, as the machine will dispense change in the form of quarters.


Campus workshop locations

Campus map: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/campus/map/

Morning session: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W Dale St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Afternoon session: Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center (I.D.E.A. Space and Room 107/Studio B), 825 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903


The below accommodations are located near the Colorado College campus:

Clarion Hotel and Conference Center (1.5 miles) $90

Quality Suites Downtown (1.5 miles) $120

Wyndham Mining Exchange (1 mile) $160

St. Mary’s Inn B&B (<1 mile) $170-$195 with breakfast

There is also an active Airbnb scene in Colorado Springs and nearby Manitou Springs.

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