Meet at the Mead

LEAP Orientation Program for First-Year Students

Orientation at the Mead

Meet at the Mead: LEAP Orientation Program for First-Year Students

Kick off your time at Amherst with an exploration of art and creativity! Whether you’re a future curator or total art novice, this program promises fun and excitement with lots of opportunities to make new friends and learn about the campus and surrounding area.

Overall Goals of the Program

  • Develop lasting bonds with new campus friends: classmates and works of art
  • Expand your vision with creativity and imagination
  • Explore the Mead as a center of collaborative research and discovery
  • Get a taste of  museum culture in Amherst and beyond 

Program Description

The overall theme of this year’s Meet at the Mead LEAP program is COLOR. Whether you’re feeling blue, seeing red, or faced with a golden opportunity, colors hold a world of meaning for everyone. When you were a kid, your “favorite color” was seen as a reflection of your personality: and with rainbows much in the news, the power of color to suggest identity and community is more apparent than ever. The 2015 theme also celebrates the Mead’s major fall exhibition, Intersecting Colors: Josef Albers and his Contemporaries.

On Thursday, we will start the day with flying colors through fun activities designed to build our community and introduce you to the Mead. Explore new exhibitions, begin a collaborative art project, see the campus with an artist’s eyes,  and get a behind-the-scenes look at art storage as you and your fellow students make new discoveries: and new friends! Near the end of the day, we’ll unwind with an arts-themed movie and popcorn, followed by a pizza dinner.

On Friday morning, we will set off on an all-day trip to visit two very different museums: the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown and MASS MoCA in North Adams. After a morning of admiring acclaimed works by Van Gogh, Whistler, and more at the Clark, we’ll break for an outdoor boxed lunch before continuing to North Adams, where a vibrant world of contemporary art awaits.

Back at the Mead on Saturday we will put the finishing touches on our group project, reflect on the past few days, and celebrate a successful program with plenty of good food and good conversation.

During this program you can discover the many ways you can engage with the Mead’s collections, take part in museum activities, and get to know the students and staff at the heart of its mission. The Mead is adjacent to the quad, where most Amherst students spend their first year. It has a world-class art collection, late night hours, and a café—not to mention comfy chairs for relaxing in, tables to study at, and special events year-round. This is where art and ideas live. From ancient to contemporary, from near and far, the Mead has it all in one of its galleries or storage rooms. Let the Mead help you find what you came to college for.

Orientation at the Mead

For more about LEAP, including information about the other 6 programs and how to make your selection, click here.