YI Arts Careers visit the New Museum
Jul 14, 2016

man explaining the museum exhibit to group of students

YI Arts Careers meets with Shaun Leonardo, G: Class & Community Programs Manager at the New Museum. Photograph by Dyeemah Simmons

On July 14, YI Arts Careers went to the New Museum to meet with some of their teens. For some of us, it was our first time there. Others had seen it in passing, but never actually went inside. When we entered the museum, we were met with the smell of spices and a projection of the artist Simone Leigh spinning in a red clay pot. She moved quickly and the only visible parts were her head and neck.

Shaun Leonardo, G: Class & Community Programs Manager at the New Museum, spoke about the exhibition Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room and introduced us to the New Museum teens. We then entered the Apothecary—another part of Leigh’s exhibition. The New Museum teens explained how Leigh had tracked the world collecting different spices and had brought them back for display. From minty sage to pungent wood, we learned each spice had a purpose and some sort of healing properties.

teens sitting preparing to meditate

YI Arts Careers and New Museum teens prepare to meditate in Simone Leigh’s exhibition The Waiting Room. Photograph by Dyeemah Simmons

We then entered the meditation area. A bowl was passed around and we each chose a question. The questions ranged from general to personal. Everyone was prompted to close their eyes and meditate for five minutes. Afterwards, some people shared the questions they received and how they felt about meditating. At the end of the visit we thanked the New Museum staff and shared what we each liked about the day’s adventures.

By Layla, YI Participant