Late Nights at the Whitney
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During the few days before the Biennial 2012 exhibition opened, there was a buzz of energy at the Museum. All of the YI Leaders, including myself, were eager to explore the show and learn more about the artists and the pieces they had created. We did some preliminary research on the artists, but nothing prepared us for the works that we would eventually have to explain to touring teens.
On March 5, the YI Leaders got a chance to roam the floors. For the following month we prepared to give tours by learning about a variety of artists in the show. We were very fortunate to meet with Elisabeth Sherman, the assistant to the curatorial team of this year’s Biennial. She provided great information about the individual artists, their ideas, studios, lives, and interests.
The most rewarding and helpful sessions were the ones with the artists whose works were on view. We were able to meet a number of artists including Sam Lewitt, Dawn Kasper, Nicole Eisenman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Elaine Reichek. They told us about their processes, what they are interested in, why they made their pieces, and how their work reflected them as artists. It was great to ask questions and receive honest answers from these artists. Meeting them enriched our knowledge of their work.
Recently, we have given an amazingly high number of teen tours. It has been difficult remembering facts, engaging students, and sparking discussion, but overall the YI Leaders have been doing a great job. My favorite parts of giving tours are seeing the students’ faces when we look at Sam Lewitt’s sculptural piece covered in Ferro Fluid, and telling students about Dawn Kasper’s installation and performance piece, This Could Be Something If I Let It. There are challenges to leading tours, but the overall experience has been fun and memorable.
By Zoe, YI Leader