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Exploring a hidden gem

June 17, 2015

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Exploring a hidden gem

Bead art, a jaguar head (left), and a bowl (right).

Bead art, a jaguar head (left), and a bowl (right).

Whitney Bronson

Bead art, a jaguar head (left), and a bowl (right).

Whitney Bronson

Whitney Bronson

Bead art, a jaguar head (left), and a bowl (right).

Strapped with cameras and tripods, a group of four high school students took off to NKU’s relatively unknown anthropology museum located in Landrum Academic Center.

As they walked the hallway leading to the second-floor museum, they nervously observed photos of African masks and a collection of embroidered and jeweled hats symbolizing cultures from southeast Asia.

Judy Voelker, director of the museum and assistant anthropology professor, welcomed the students into the museum, which is slightly larger than a typical office. As the students split into pairs to conduct their interviews they contemplated where to shoot their subjects.

To ensure a quiet setting Sam Roberts, a junior from  Simon Kenton and Lydia Human, a senior from Calvary Christian High, asked Voelker to step into the hallway, leaving the other two students and interviewee in the museum. They positioned their cameras using the rule of thirds, putting Voelker far left and a display of hats in the center and far right.

Savannah Deur, a sophomore from Goshen High School in Ohio, began framing her subject. “I don’t want that handicap sign in the background,” she said.

Whitney Bronson a senior from Walnut Hills took out a notepad full of questions to begin the interview. She and her group members questioned Voelker about the museum’s founding, the sources of artifacts and details about her travels to collect museum pieces.

As students snapped pictures of the art, Voelker explained the history of an intricate bead work and yard paintings.

“Sheltered in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico the Huichol people hold fast to their ancient cultural traditions and styles of art,” Voelker said.  She said the beads used to be held together by bees wax and most of the artworks portray serpents, deities and Jieuri, a potent plant.
Once the interviews were over the students seemed less overwhelmed.

“I was a little nervous about the people we were interviewing because I didn’t know if they were going to be difficult or everything was going to be perfectly fine,” said Whitney Bronson , a senior from Walnut Hills High. “And I wasn’t entirely sure if I had good questions and if I would be able to make a story out of it … I feel like I got very good answers from both of the people that we interviewed.”
Deuer seemed excited to write her story and edit her video. “I thought it was really cool being able to go to the museum,” she said. “It was almost more fun than I thought it would be. We got really good information and shots.”

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