Seattle Art Museum Special Exhibition Tour: Gauguin and Polynesia

Paul Gauguin, French Polynesia

Paul Gauguin, French Polynesia

Olivia Britt, Digipen Animation Instructor at PSSC, received an excel grant last fall to take her students to visit the Seattle Art Museum to view the special exhibition Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise. During their tour, lead by a museum docent, the students experienced original artworks from various collections across Europe and the US including a wide selection of paintings and sculptures by Gauguin and rarely seen 18th and 19th century works originating in  the Polynesian Islands.

One of the questions we ask teachers when they submit their final report on Excel Grants is “How has this grant made a difference in your school/class?” Here’s Olivia’s answer:

Seattle Art Museum Special Exhibition Tour: Gauguin and Polynesia

Seattle Art Museum Special Exhibition Tour: Gauguin and Polynesia

For the majority, visiting the museum was a first and I believe quite a memorable experience. The first hour they were able to see the permanent collection and many found their favorite works here. Upon our return to school, several students said “Wow, that was really cool.” “I didnt’ think it I would like that, but it was pretty ok.”

I think that the students who attended feel like they could return to the museum. Many students thought museums weren’t really for them; too expensive and for rich people. During the visit they saw that there were all kinds of people visiting, and that they also belonged to this community.

Great job Olivia!


If you are a teacher in the Highline Schools District and are interested in our Excel Grant program, you can find more information on our website. Grant requests are accepted each fall, and we announce the program on our website and Facebook page.

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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