Library offers free art museum tours from home

To promote creative thinking and connectivity among the Cal Poly Pomona community, the University Library is offering free virtual art museum tours.

Librarians Alyssa Loera and Julie Shen are coordinating the tours for all those interested in learning more about art from the comfort of their own homes.

“The virtual museum tours are a way to connect with the art spaces in Los Angeles County even though we are not able to visit them in person,” Loera said.

Prior virtual tours held over the last months featured the LA County Museum of Art, The Broad and Craft Contemporary. Most of the virtual tours are accompanied by interactive activities for participants or ideas for do-it-yourself projects.

It’s been really great to see the students. Before the pandemic, over 10,000 students would visit the library on an average day so, as you can imagine, I really miss seeing our students,” Shen said.

According to Loera, the tours are guided by the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The standards for students’ learning outcomes include being able to recognize the purpose of the artwork, orchestrate effective searches for images, interpret the visual media and identify the works’ sources.

Hoping to provide an entertaining experience, both Loera and Shen try to engage the participants in fun and lighthearted discussions and offer anonymous polls to get the opinions of those present. “We are acutely aware of the looming Zoom fatigue and try to keep this set of programming active, engaging and relaxed,” Loera added.

Both Loera and Shen lead the virtual tours. After providing an overview of the museum, the two librarians proceed by explaining the individual art pieces while offering their perspectives on the work.

“We talk about different ways of understanding art, and we also talk about how art is created,” Shen said. “We touch on how you can incorporate art into your class projects, not just for art classes but for other subjects as well.”

The next museum tour is scheduled for Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. Participants will be experiencing The Getty Museum, observing “The Iris: Behind the Scenes at the Getty” exhibition and interacting with a “Getty Animal Crossing Art Generator,” an interactive tool that makes it possible for Animal Crossing players to add art into their islands and transform their homes into art galleries.

Following the tour of the Getty is the Museum of Latin American Art and its exhibits on Google Arts and Culture. Lastly, to end the tour, participants will observe the collections from The Brewery.

“Art can communicate so much meaning. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a work of art perhaps even more,” Shen said.

For more information, visit

(Feature image courtesy of Robert Couse-Baker)

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