Every year, we bring hundreds of NYC teens through our studio doors to take part in dozens of free hands-on art-making programs. From In the Making to the MoMA + MoMA PS1 Cross-Museum Collective to our recently created Digital Advisory Board, we are constantly looking to find new ways of engaging young audiences Read more
Posts by Calder Zwicky
Last year’s Cross-Museum Collective was a whirlwind of incredible, art-related experiences, from behind-the-scenes tours of MoMA’s Security Department (thanks LJ!) to hanging out with the conservation staff (thanks Roger!) to spending week after week exploring the galleries of MoMA PS1 and the spectacular work there—it’s insane just how much we were able to accomplish. Read more
Alya Albert, 19, is an alumnus of our In the Making teen arts program and a second-year Cross-Museum Collective member. On Sunday May 19, she and the other CMC teens, under the guidance of artist Ryan McNamara, created a series of in-gallery performances and provocations at MoMA PS1. Read more
Kerry Downey and Douglas Paulson, two artists who use collaboration as the basis of much of their own work, are the creative forces behind this season’s In the Making course for teens titled Clubs, Gangs, and Secret Societies: The Art of Working Collaboratively. For the past six weeks, they’ve been leading their collective of NYC youths through a variety of projects and activities exploring the history and philosophy surrounding artists working together in order to create collaborative art. Read more
As an artist and educator, Kerry Downey has been running programming for MoMA’s Community Partnership program for the past three years–offering free art making experiences across a number of non-profit and community-based audiences. For this blog post, she explores her work with our long-term partners at Abyssinian Development Corporation’s YouthBuild program, Read more
For the past three years, Community & Access Programs teaching artist Kerry Downey has been teaming up with Housing Works (one of MoMA’s longest running Community Partnerships) to collaborate on nearly a dozen hands-on art projects. Traveling between three sites—the Keith D. Cylar House Health Center, the Transgender Transitional Housing Project (TTHP), and the West Village Health Center—Downey has been organizing video shoots, performances, murals, and a host of other artistic ventures. Read more
In teen programming these days, it’s becoming pretty common for groups of museum-based teens to sit down with a big-name artist and conduct an interview with them about their work. And the reason that this is becoming a common technique is simple—these interviews almost always turn out to be pretty great. They give artists a chance to talk about their work in a new way with a new audience, and it allows the teens conducting the interview to gain first-hand knowledge about what it actually means to create art for a living. (You can check out our two-part MoMA Teens interview with Laurel Nakadate here and here.) The teen/artist interviews are more casual than most, more honest in some ways, and they tend to broach subjects that a curator or a critic might never raise in a more formal type of environment.
For the two videos below, we decided to flip things around a bit: Rather than bringing a group of our MoMA teens in to interview an older, more established artist, we brought in ex-MoMA teen (and 22-year-old artist), Sean Vegezzi, and interviewed him about his work. We wanted to shine some light onto the artistic projects that our In the Making alumni are working on these days, and to create a platform that increases the visibility of vibrant, gutsy, emerging artists like Sean. As you can see from the video, the philosophies surrounding his work and his artistic process are just as complex and well thought out as those of his older, more established peers and his recent book of photography, I Don’t Warna Grow Up, holds its own against anything else that’s being released these days.
In Part 1 of the video, we talk to Sean about his experiences growing up in NYC and his time spent exploring the city’s underbelly with the group of young men whose nocturnal (and mostly illegal) adventures make up the artistic core of his work. He discusses his experiences growing up, the strange situations that creative adolescents can find themselves in, and the factors that led him to take his first MoMA In the Making workshop while attending public high school. Throughout it all, sprinkled between images of his art, Sean speaks candidly about the transgressive nature of his work, and how his multifaceted relationship with New York City has led him to create the art that he does in the ways that he does. (More info on Sean and his work can be found in a previous Inside/Out blog post here.)
In Part 2, Sean walks us through a selection of images from his book—sharing the stories behind the pictures, and filling us in on the adventures that characterize his practice and the characters who populate his world. It’s a fascinating look at a broad cross-section of New York City youth, all of whom come off as both completely normal and yet absolutely unique—perfect examples of the type of self-motivated, artistic teens who find their way to MoMA’s free arts programming year after year.
Check out these videos and let us know what you think, and please find a way to support emerging young artists in any way that you can.
A special party for In the Making + MoMA Teens alumni will be taking place in the Louis B. & Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Center the night of Friday, December 14, with food, drink, raffle prizes, interactive art by Babycastles, a live musical performance by SUPERCUTE!, and a special screening of John Favreau’s Elf. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Spring 2013 In the Making course applications are available now.
Special thanks to Sean Vegezzi for sitting down with us and talking about his life, Fourteen-Nineteen, and Ratking for supplying the music.
Sean Vegezzi is a 22-year-old alumnus of our In the Making program, which offers free art classes to NYC teens. Like many students attending public schools here in the city, Sean came to us as a high school student who was seeking an outlet for his creativity as well as a public platform to showcase his work. Read more
Recently, a group of our In the Making and Cross-Museum Collective teen alumni were given the opportunity to assist choreographer Dean Moss as he finished his preparations for Voluntaries (created in collaboration with visual artist Laylah Ali), for MoMA’s recent dance performance series Some sweet day. Read more