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YI Summer: Teens Take Soho

JUL 29, 2014

A teen mirrors the artwork in a darkened installation at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, July 2014. Photograph by Correna Cohen

A teen mirrors the artwork in a darkened installation at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, July 2014. Photograph by Correna Cohen

On July 29, the Youth Insights Summer Intensive teens went to Soho to explore two art institutions. We met at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, where we viewed the current exhibition and spoke with Kris Grey, Exhibitions and Communications Manager, about the history of the museum. CLITERACY, a large piece by Sophia Wallace, provoked an interesting discussion about gender politics and the ignorance of female sexuality. My favorite part of the museum was the display of historical t-shirts and buttons from the 1970s queer feminist movement. 

Kris Grey speaks with the teens about the art at the Leslie-Lohman Museum, July 2014. Photograph by Correna Cohen

Kris Grey speaks with the teens about the art at the Leslie-Lohman Museum, July 2014. Photograph by Correna Cohen

Afterwards, we walked up the street to practice our public speaking skills by giving speeches about ourselves. Hannie joked that it was an “impromptu street performance.” Everyone did really well, especially considering all the extra distractions and noise the city streets bring!

Finally, we headed to Recess, a unique nonprofit that works to bring art to the public and support artists through a residency program. We talked to Allison Weisberg, Executive Director and Founder of Recess, about what it means to be an art nonprofit and how Recess works. At Recess, we also spoke with Nontsikelelo Mutiti, the artist in residence, about her current artwork. She draws inspiration from her home country of Zimbabwe and explores hair braiding and weaving in her work. She and YI teen Andrea compared the way they braid hair, and we ended the session by trying braiding ourselves!

By Sammie, YI Summer Participant