YI Leaders Meet Gary Simmons
Feb 19, 2013

Teens sit and plan colloboration

Gary Simmons and Youth Insights Leaders discuss plans for their upcoming collaboration.
Photograph by Jason Mandella

On February 19, Youth Insights leaders met with artist Gary Simmons and began to work together on a new project. Simmons showed us some of his work, which turned into a great conversation about his drawings, prints, sculpture, installations, and a work titled Step Into the Arena (The Essentialist Trap) (1993), which is in the Whitney’s collection. YI Leaders have been asked to work with Simmons to create a mural in the lobby of the Museum’s downtown administrative offices.

The first thing Simmons asked us to do was to check out the lobby space and look around at our own pace to see what can be done with the wall. Then we divided into groups to brainstorm and share our thoughts about what associations we had with the building and the space. Simmons checked in on us throughout the process and when we finished, each group reported back to each other about our ideas. In a month or so, we will meet with the artist again and each group will create a collage or drawing as a mock-up of a mural design. Then we’ll compare notes and take a little inspiration from each group’s work.

Here are a few more pictures:


  • Students brainstorm mural ideas

    Leaders Elizabeth, Emiliano, and Adena meet in a small group to brainstorm mural ideas. Photograph by Jason Mandella

  • Students share mural ideas

    Leaders Alex and Julia listen intently as Skye shares her ideas. Photograph by Jason Mandella

  • Another small group of Leaders writes out their plans for the mural collaboration. Photograph by Jason Mandella

  • Students discuss in large group, mural ideas

    After brainstorming, the groups come back together to share their ideas with Gary Simmons. Photograph by Jason Mandella

By Ramsey, Youth Insights Leader