Artist On-site: Ellen Harvey

The artist works with families in the gallery.

Ellen Harvey discussing drawing and abstraction with families, December 2009. Photograph by Paula Santos

This past weekend, families had the opportunity to work with 2008 Biennial artist Ellen Harvey. Kids, parents and grandparents learned about her artistic processes and techniques from the artist herself before trying them out on their own in the galleries.

  • A child works on the gallery floor in front of a painting.
  • A man stands and a student sits on the gallery floor in front of a painting.
  • A family sits on the floor of a gallery.
  • The artist and a child stand in front of a painting.
  • A group of adults and kids stand around a modern painting.
  • A girl holds up her interpretive drawing next to the artwork.
  • A girls shows off her artwork in front of a painting of a woman.
  • A child sits and draws in front of an artwork depicting a car.
  • A boy sits on the floor to draw a picture, while a woman stands in front of a modern painting.
  • A boy poses with his drawing of a Brooklyn Bridge painting.

Ellen showed families small portraits that she has painted over time, as well as a study for A Whitney for the Whitney (2003), a Whitney’s catalogue in which she painted exact replicas of many of the paintings in the Museum’s Collection. Families were then prompted to choose a work of art in the Whitney's Collection galleries and create their own drawing replicas.

Families spread across the galleries in the fifth floor and focused on choosing their work of art, while Ellen worked with each group and engaged everyone in conversation about their selection. Families were so busy with their drawings that they did not want the workshop to end!

To wrap up the experience, adults and kids alike led the group on a mini tour and shared their inspiration for the works of art they had chosen. Some of our young artists drew two or three replicas in one sitting!

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming workshops with artists participating in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, starting in March 2010!

The artist leads workshop around a table about her paintings.

Ellen Harvey sharing her paintings with families, December 2009. Photograph by Stina Puotinen

The artist looks at works by two children in the gallery.

Families sharing their drawings with each other, December 2009. Photograph by Stina Puotinen