YI Visits the Studio Museum in Harlem
Jul 18, 2013

students sitting in museum

Expanding the Walls and Youth Insights teens use body language to communicate their favorite works of art, Studio Museum in Harlem, July 2013. Photograph by Kate Nadel

On July 18, Youth Insights visited the Studio Museum in Harlem to meet with participants in the Expanding the Walls (ETW) teen art program. The Studio Museum collects and shows works by artists of African descent or art that is influenced by black culture. The teens in ETW gave us a tour of the Studio Museum’s newest exhibition, Body Language, which explores the different uses of body language in art to communicate feelings without words. We got to see ETW’s own exhibition, No Filter, which was a collection of the teens’ photographs inspired by James Van Der Zee’s artwork, hanging nearby. 

  • students in front of outdoor installation

    Teens discuss Glenn Ligon’s work, Give Us A Poem (2007) with ETW teens, July 2013. Photograph by Kate Nadel

  • teens looking at artwork in gallery

    An Expanding the Walls teen strikes a pose in the exhibition Body Language, July 2013. Photograph by Kate Nadel

  • students looking at exhibition title

    Expanding the Walls teens explain their project No Filter, where they took photographs inspired by the photography of James Van Der Zee, July 2013. Photograph by Kate Nadel

  • students sit in a room and look at wall

    Youth Insights and Expanding the Walls teens enjoy snacks, music, and each other’s company, July 2013. Photograph by Kate Nadel

YI teens were blindfolded and had the ETW photographs described to them verbally. We then had to give a description of what we thought the ETW teens’ images looked like. We also learned about the meanings behind some of  the photographs and how they were connected to Van Der Zee’s art. This day was one of my favorites, because we got to learn about what other teen museum programs do. I was not familiar with the Studio Museum in Harlem, so it was interesting to learn about the Museum and the Expanding the Walls program.

By Jitan, Youth Insights Summer participant