Nov. 14 marked the final day of the scavenger hunt, created by the Binghamton University Art Museum. The scavenger hunt was announced on the BU Art Museum’s Instagram page on April 11 and was open to all on-campus visitors including students, staff and faculty.
The rules are simple: scattered around campus are posters of works from the Museum with QR codes on them. By scanning the codes which contain clues, participants will be led to a search game in the Main Gallery. If they could complete the search, they would earn a prize. The first poster with QR code was announced on Instagram, located in Glenn G. Bartle Library on the general interest board between Jazzman’s and the library. The hunt was open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the same as the museum’s hours. Albert Zhang, a social media intern for the BU Art Museum and a sophomore majoring in psychology, said the event was created to promote the galleries on campus. The scavenger hunt and search game was also a fun way for new students to familiarize themselves with the campus and help older students to discover or revisit a forgotten spot.
“We want participants to visit the museum and get a close look at the works in the main gallery,” Zhang said. “With [COVID-19] shutting everyone indoors, we want the hunt to draw students out of their dorms and onto campus.”
The event was formed as a creative way to bring new visitors to the museum by Zhang and the museum’s social media team. The game portion of the scavenger hunt was developed first and then later accompanied by the rest of the scavenger hunt. Using their own ideas of what they understand and enjoy as a baseline, they created this game for the rest of the participants.
Although this year’s engagement was low, there is some hope of making the game a yearly tradition to boost the museum’s popularity among the student body. This will make visiting the museum a larger part of people’s daily experience on campus, and to familiarize them with the art that BU has to offer. Zhang detailed his experience being an intern for the museum as eye-opening, and that it helped him to appreciate and understand the efforts of museum staff.
“I enjoy visiting museums, but have never considered a career in museums,” Zhang said. “This opportunity to work hands-on in the field has really helped me develop skills that I didn’t have before.”
Although the scavenger hunt has ended, on-campus visitors can still browse several exhibitions in both galleries from now until Dec. 12 for free. The BU Art Museum is located in the Fine Arts Building, with the Main Gallery in room 213 and the Lower Gallery in room 179. There are currently six exhibitions on display that have been curated by museum staff, faculty members and students, as well as the permanent collection.