Canvases, cookies, and clothing–oh my! On Saturday July 28, the Whitney hosted Kusama Mania!, a summer event for New York City teens that included art making, tours of Yayoi Kusama, a retrospective of the artist’s work currently on view at the museum, and lots of sugar cookie–er, edible Kusama-inspired dots!
Teen visitors, who had free access to the Museum and all of the day’s activities, began with a tour of the exhibition led by four teens currently participating in the Youth Insights Summer Intensive Program. Michelle, Hannah, Elizabeth and Wiley talked to visiting NYC high school students about Kusama’s watercolors, Infinity Net paintings, Accumulation sculptures, and recent series of brightly-colored and patterned canvases before sending them down to the Whitney Studio.
In the studio, teens were greeted with three art-making stations inspired by the works they had just seen: a watercolor and ink table, a table filled with brightly colored canvases and acrylic paints, and a third table chock full of “stuff” and loaded with glue guns. Next to this table, a bin of T-shirts and other clothing offered teens the chance to create their own wearable art in the style of Kusama’s Accumulation sculptures. Just outside the studio in the Whitney’s Sculpture Court, a cookie-decorating table turned Kusama’s dots obsession into sugary, edible fun for all ages.
As the event drew to a close, participants wandered back to the studio to put the finishing touches on their accumulation clothing or pick up drying canvases. Dozens of teens attended the event and created some amazing art–we hope to see them again before long for drop-in teen events taking place during the school year or as after-school participants in Youth Insights!
By Correna Cohen, Youth Programs Intern