Gotham students visit the Whitney with their teachers for guided or self-guided visits, and participate in multi-part programs. All guided visits and multi-part programs are planned collaboratively with the teachers. This often includes a pre-program, in-person planning meeting and a post-program evaluation conversation with the Museum educator.
Fighting Words was a social studies class that examined the nature of war and the human experiences during wartime. For this three-part program, the Museum educator asked students to consider how the trauma of war continued to impact the lives of soldiers, even after their return home. The highlight of the program was the extended Museum visit on April 28, 2010, where the students met with Biennial artist Nina Berman and saw her work firsthand. The artist discussed her commitment to documenting soldiers’ lives after leaving the battlefield. Read more
How do culture and race influence who you are? Are you free to choose, or has your life already been structured for you? These were some questions students debated in their English Literature class. Students read texts by Sherman Alexie, a contemporary Native American author, and worked with Biennial artist Theaster Gates. This three-part program, led by Gates and a Museum educator, challenged students to re-conceptualize their Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood as spaces of convergence through community get-togethers and happenings.
In Botany I, students examined the idea of identity and environment in plants. This unit of study became a cross-disciplinary three-part program focused on the essential question, “Is identity fluid?” During the extended Museum visit, students explored the exhibition, Roni Horn aka Roni Horn and discussed issues of gender, identity, and androgyny in Horn’s works. Inspired by Horn’s You are the Weather series (1994-1995), students took photographs of themselves interacting with various environments and considered how their surroundings defined or changed their identity.
In this English as Second Language (ESL) class, students used works of art in the Whitney’s collection as a starting point for discussion and writing. The objectives for this multi-part program were to improve students’ reading comprehension and writing skills, and encourage dialogue among peers.
Students in this class participated in a three-part program that included a guided visit of the 2008 Whitney Biennial exhibition. By looking closely at three to five works on view in the galleries, students examined the concepts of appropriated text and repeated imagery. The final project required them to create transfer prints using appropriated text and images from print media.