About Sight Projects
Hello! I'm Elaine Ritchel, independent museum educator and arts writer. I established Sight Projects to encourage engagement with art through visual education programs and interpretive arts writing services.
In 2015, I launched Santa Fe Art Tours, a division of Sight Projects, LLC, to provide interactive art museum and gallery tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mission & Vision
My mission is to produce meaningful art-centered experiences that promote visual literacy, inspire personal awareness, and deepen connections with the world around us. I launched Sight Projects with the vision to create additional value for the act of engaging with visual art.
Values & Beliefs
Central to my practice as an educator is my belief that, beyond just being fun to look at, art is a dynamic tool for personal growth and the development of valuable skills. My approach to object-based teaching, while fun and accessible, effectively targets and encourages visual literacy––the ability to make meaning from information in the form of an image.
Visual literacy is an excellent skill for anyone to practice, not just those of us in creative or artistic fields. For example, research has shown that participating in close-looking exercises significantly increases the capacity of medical students to make descriptive and accurate observations. (Check out the studies here and here.)
Cultivating a practice of slowing down, looking closely, and learning to analyze, interpret, and share our observations about art can positively impact our lives in a number of ways.
I vividly remember my first museum visit and the very artifact––an Egyptian mummified cat––that would inspire a lifelong love for the magic and mystery of museum collections. I also remember a formative Montessori preschool activity that taught me how to distinguish Monet from van Gogh by searching for differences in style and technique. These experiences, among others, sparked my curiosity, nurtured my imagination, and tuned me into the richness of the visual world and the power of art.
I received my bachelor's degree in art history from the University of New Mexico and my master's degree in art history from the University of Texas at Austin. I have a professional background in art museum education and over ten years of experience teaching in a variety of settings. I have worked as an educator and language services specialist with arts institutions in the US and abroad, including the University of New Mexico Art Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, and the Croatian Association of Artists.
After spending three years in beautiful Croatia, I am now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I run Santa Fe Art Tours, write for local arts publications, and facilitate education programs for cultural institutions. If you'd like to work together, get in touch!