CATEGORY: EVENTS & PROGRAMS
How Will Art Survive Us? I had the pleasure of presenting on this beautifully provocative topic at MoMA’s Agora program this past July. I discussed two works, one ongoing pedagogical project, School of Apocalypse at Pioneer Works, and one sculpture, Eroding Plazas and Accumulating Resistance, made with the Occupy Museums collective. Facing social and ecological changes that may threaten the very survival of our species, our times require large-scale collective adaptation. The arts, and arts institutions, are crucial here. They hold space for new stories and act as arenas for the rehearsal of new structures and modes of engagement that will be the most effective tools for surviving what we have become. Read more
“A mere glimpse restores my sagging soul,” wrote Lillian Gerard, Special Projects Coordinator at MoMA, of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in a letter to Richard Shepard at The New York Times in 1975. She went on to describe it as “as a meeting place for young lovers, senior citizens, jumping children, foreign travelers, and out-of-towners” and in particular singled out “…its evenings with performers as ardent and free as the trees and the sculpture that thrive in this oasis of fountains and pools, with the sky above and cement below.” Read more
On a Thursday afternoon earlier this summer, apprentice educator Tali Petschek and I rushed around the Education Center, heading up to the seventh floor to ferry down supplies to our classroom on the mezzanine level. It was the culminating session of Open Art Space, a new MoMA Teens drop-in program for LGBTQ high school students. For our 15th and final session of the season, we decided, in collaboration with some of our most devoted participants, to do an LGBTQ prom-themed photo shoot. Teens wanted at least a taste of a prom they couldn’t have in their own schools, where they could bring whomever they wanted, dress however they wanted, and explore whatever gender roles felt right to them at that moment. Read more
For the past five weeks, we have organized a series of weekly monotype printmaking workshops, Degas in Process: Make a Monotype, in conjunction with the exhibition Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, on view on MoMA’s sixth floor through July 24. Taking Degas’s innovative use of the monotype as a starting point, these workshops are led by teaching artists—Justin Sanz, Sophy Naess, Neil Berger, Kerry Downey, and Bruce Waldman—each of whom brings a unique creative approach to their session and offers a glimpse into the sustained relevance of the monotype technique in contemporary artistic practice. Read more
Our teen programming is set up in a multi-tiered way: Open Art Space is a free drop-in program for LGBTQ-identified teens and their allies, with no application required, that people can visit as little or as much as they want. Our In the Making programs offer free studio art courses, introductory experiences that involve a structured amount of weekly on-site classes and culminate with a teen art show of participants’ work. Read more
I’m an educator here at MoMA, and I am 30 years old. When I teach in MoMA’s galleries I am mostly talking with people who are twice, sometimes three times my age. It’s not something I anticipated when I was an art history student 10 years ago, but it is one of the more informative and enlightening aspects of my job: discussing art with people who have far different—and far more—life experiences than I do. Read more
We first worked with Mary Mattingly in the summer of 2013, when she collaborated with us as one of the teaching artists for the Museum’s first ever 3-D printing course for teens, a program that was set up through our involvement with Eyebeam. When she approached us last fall with an idea for a new teen course, I was immediately intrigued Read more
If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll know that MoMA has been experimenting with “pop-ups”—drop-in learning and art-making spaces—in closer proximity to the galleries for the past couple of years. These impromptu spaces are something that the Department of Education has long advocated for because offering hands-on activities helps visitors make connections to the art on view. Read more
Creating spaces for free, hands-on art experiences is a cornerstone of the educational and artistic philosophies guiding our work within Teen and Community Partnerships here at MoMA. For far too many young people living in NYC, the idea of pursuing (or even exploring) a career in the arts can seem frivolous, intimidating, and, ultimately, unattainable. Add the high cost of undergraduate and graduate education to these gaps in basic accessibility and the difficulties young artists face are compounded exponentially. With these ideas in mind, this season saw MoMA Teens working with the staff and community of artists from Bruce High Quality Foundation University, or “New York’s freest art school,” as they aptly describe themselves. Set up as an introductory “art school for people who hate school,” the 10-week program they developed has taken the participating teens through the strange, scary, and oftentimes outlandish world of a college-level fine arts degree, as seen through the wonderfully distorted BHQFU lens. Below Andrea and Sean, our two BHQFU collaborators, share their experiences here so far.
—Calder Zwicky, Assistant Director for Teen and Community Partnerships, MoMA
For the past season, the Bruce High Quality Foundation University has had the pleasure of working with 25 incredibly sharp teenagers from across the five boroughs of New York City. In a world that has robbed many of them and their peers of a stable, prosperous future, we’re learning together about the social and political power of art.
And they’re all about it.
Each week, we invited a Bruce family member to lead a guest workshop outlining their studio working methods, political motivations, and cultural influences. This resulted in a crash course of sorts, a hyper-accelerated BFA experience that not only showed how art is made, but why art is made and for whom. The best part has been, our students got to experience all of this for free, thanks to this incredible program, MoMA’s In the Making teen art courses. At the end of each class, participants earned a merit badge celebrating the techniques and concepts they’d learned to add to their BHQFU camo vests. We’re earning them, too, and we’ll all have pretty killer art education maps on our backs at the exhibition opening on April 15.
We learned about Institutional Critique + Critical Pedagogy through a brief history of the Bruce High Quality Foundation and BHQFU that culminated in a group “sculpture tackle” of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE work located a few blocks from MoMA. Rapper and visual artist James Allister Sprang (AKA GAZR), himself an alumnus of the MoMA Teens Apprentice Educator program, showed us the connection between Performance Art + Pop Art, challenging us to incorporate personal narrative and critiques of popular culture into our art. Queens-based sculptor Anne Wu encouraged us to see the human touch evident everywhere in the urban environment of New York, and how to translate sketches of the world around us into three-dimensional sculptural objects. Eamon Monaghan shared the secrets of his DIY Video + Set Design process as we learned how to construct miniature film sets and how to splice ourselves into them using the green-screen method. Continuing that DIY theme, the artist collective Packet Biweekly discussed the political value of Artist Books + Self-Publishing, working with us to knock out a brand new collaborative artist book in a single class session. We deconstructed, figuratively and literally, imagery from mass media, reconfiguring those images to reflect our individual perspectives through a Collage + Media Literacy workshop with artist Ariel Jackson. And we tapped into the other side with Orlando Estrada, whose Psychic Intuition + Alchemy class taught us relief mold sculpture techniques hinged on improvisation and drawing exercises encouraging us to find a sixth sense.
Consistently, our students have expressed their discontent with the way things are in the world—justifiably so! It’s easy to get jaded, right? But the thing is: none of them are jaded. They’re fired up and they’re making plans. Collectively and individually, they’re beyond driven. They are demanding an alternative future. BHQFU is equally fired up as we see in action the inarguable value of accessible art education. Our students are unafraid of speaking truth to power, of dismantling structures designed to marginalize them. Each of them is in possession of a truly unique voice and perspective, and they’ve learned the skills to amplify that voice through creating art.
Join us on April 15 for the opening of the In the Making: Spring 2016 Teen Art Show. We’re so fortunate to have met the next generation of merry pranksters and political dissidents. We can’t wait to show you what each of them can do.
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