A few weeks ago I sat down to interview Sean Vegezzi, an emerging 22-year-old artist and an alumnus of our MoMA Teen programs. Since participating in In The Making, Sean has been making a name for himself with a series of high-profile internships for the likes of Ryan McGinley and Annie Leibovitz, and with the recent publication of his first book of photography, I Don’t Warna Grow Up. We were discussing his experiences growing up in New York City, and Sean began talking about the weird bind that many adolescents find themselves in: too old to hang out in playgrounds, too young to get into bars or clubs, and too broke to do anything else of interest. It’s during this period of a person’s life, he postulated, that one is most in need of free, creative projects to fill up their spare time. More info on Sean and his work can be found in an Inside/Out blog post from last November.
MoMA’s In the Making program offers free art classes for New York City teens. Offered twice a year, during the spring and summer, these courses create a space for a diverse group of artistically inclined teens to come together around shared goals of art making, exploration, experimentation, and community building. We strive to make these courses as unlike traditional schooling as possible, bringing in an insanely talented array of teaching artists who push the boundaries of what people think of when they think about museum-based learning. Topics range from skateboard art and travel to movement, politics, gender, sexuality, and more.
This spring, we are pleased to be offering four free courses: Clubs, Gangs, and Secret Societies: The Art of Working Collaboratively; Playing With Materials: Games and Experiments Across Multiple Mediums; Take It Back! Reclaiming and Reusing Corporate Imagery; and CLICK@MoMA: Making Things That Make Things Happen. In addition to these four courses, we’ll also be offering past In the Making alumni the chance to be a part of our second annual Cross-Museum Collective, an educational collaboration between MoMA and MoMA PS1. It is our hope that through our programs we create safe spaces for teens to explore their creativity and find community with other like-minded and artistic teens.
On Friday, December 14, we are holding a special Alumni Party at the Museum for past participants of MoMA Teens programs. Some of the young people who come to the party will be returning to the Museum after just a few short months, having taken classes with us this past summer. Others will be returning after years, having since moved on to the world of college classes and full-time jobs. For all of the teens who come back, we hope that the alumni party is filled with fun, food, drinks, old friends, and new artistic experiences. We hope they reconnect with one another, and also with the people they were when they first took a class. Most importantly, we hope that coming back to MoMA feels a bit like coming home again.
We can’t wait to welcome them back.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Spring 2013 In the Making course applications are available now. Follow us at Facebook.com/MoMAteens to learn about other upcoming programs and opportunities for NYC teens.