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Students have multiple opportunities to visit the Whitney while studying at Chelsea Preparatory Public School 33. All programs are designed collaboratively with the art teacher and classroom teachers through pre-program planning meetings and post-program evaluation conversations with the Museum educator.
In this two-hour workshop with Biennial 2012 artist Dawn Kasper, a group of third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students learned that sustaining a nomadic studio practice can be very difficult!
Without a permanent art studio since 2008, Kasper has developed what she calls her Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: when invited to participate in an exhibition, she uses the gallery or museum space as her studio. For the Biennial, Dawn moved all of her belongings—items that would normally be in her art studio and bedroom–into the third floor gallery at the Museum.
To help students understand the challenges of sustaining a nomadic studio practice, Kasper moved them around to different parts of the Museum in 15-20 minute intervals as they worked ferociously to complete a collage project at each stop. Students started in Kasper’s studio on the third floor but had to move to the Sculpture Court, then to the Lower Gallery, Museum lobby, and finally into the studio classroom. By the end of the nomadic studio practice experiment, students were exhausted and ready for lunch. It was unusual to see a group of elementary school students sitting at the table and eating their sandwiches quietly!
“It feels like we are breaking into the Whitney Museum with the artist!” exclaimed one of the students during a guided tour of Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools. It was indeed a special experience for a group of twenty fourth- and fifth-grade students from Art Club as Arcangel led them on a two-hour tour of his exhibition on a Friday morning, before the Museum opened to the public. Students were eager to ask the artist questions about his art, ideas, and processes. During the tour, Arcangel invited them to try out his version of the electronic golf game, Masters (2011); challenged them to fill a piece of paper with as many colors as possible; and revealed “secrets” about how he hacked into video games. At the end of the tour, one student raised his hand and said to Arcangel: “Thank you for telling us the secrets of your art and how they were rigged to fail. It is cool how you made the games always messed up.”
How and why did New York City change over time? What are some special features of New York City as an urban community? These were questions that all second-grade students were examining in their social studies and art classes. This unit of study connected well to Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time, an exhibition showing the diverse ways that artists depicted the sweeping transformations of urban and rural life in America during the first half of the twentieth century. in a three-part program led by a Museum educator, students considered the characteristics of urban and rural communities, exchanged ideas about the neighborhoods they live in, and collaborated on a print-making project that depicted the diverse neighborhoods of New York City.
A group of twenty third- and fourth-grade students from Art Club worked with Biennial artist Theaster Gates whose installation, Cosmology of Yard (2010), was on view in the Whitney’s Sculpture Court. During the extended Museum visit, Gates described the various elements of his installation and encouraged the students to explore the space on their own.Read more
In this two-part program, a class of twenty fourth-grade students explored the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, examining her inspirations, artistic processes, and materials. During the extended Museum visit, students looked closely at four works in the exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction. While discussing From the Plains II (1954), the Museum educator shared a piece of interesting information about the painting–it was inspired by the loud and sad lowing of cattle, which O’Keeffe often heard while she was in Amarillo, Texas.Read More