By: Bernadette McCrann & Jennifer Lima
The Museum of Modern Art, also known as the MoMA, is a Manhattan-based museum that recognizes and displays many different forms of modern and contemporary art. The MoMA not only brings modern art to a local, national, and international audience, but it also exposes teens to the arts by providing free classes at the museum.
MoMA Teens in the Making is an 18 session program that gives New York City teens free art-making classes. No experience is necessary to be in the program, but an application is required. To be eligible for the classes, one must be 13- to 19- years old and a New York City resident. Competition for a spot in the Summer 2012 classes was stiff; only 88 of over 300 applicants were chosen. Students had to choose one of four available classes to attend: Dumpster Diving, Crossing the Border, Double-Jointed, and Click@MoMA. Classes are made up of 22 kids and are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between July 10 and August 16.
Classes for “Dumpster Diving: Making Art from Found and Scavenged Material” start at 10 am and end at 1 pm. Students are to look in the streets of NYC to find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places; as they say, “another man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
“Crossing the Border: Travel, Exploration & Movement in Art” is conducted from 10 am to 1 pm. This class incorporates the ideas of travel, motion, and movement as a catalyst for creating art using digital photography, painting, mapping, earthworks, and more.
The “Double-Jointed: MoMA’s Wood Shop” class is held between 2 pm and 5 pm. Using both past and present tools and techniques, students construct sculptural as well as functional objects out of wood in this hands-on experience.
At “Click@MoMA: Robots are People, Too!” session, held from 10 am to 1 pm, teens explore electronic artwork and installations that contain human-like features, behaviors, and qualities. This class incorporates the use of mixed media, digital technologies, and simple circuitry into the artwork.
In the hopes of reaching out to all teens, the MoMA provides these services to public, private, and home-schooled children from all five boroughs. The MoMA decided to arrange teen programs because it believes that teens are the artists of the future. It also wanted to expose teens to the arts who might have not experienced art otherwise. The exposure the MoMA provides is geared toward making teens’ art and museum experiences interesting and fun instead of a typical museum tour. The programs are intended to engage students and tell them what it means to be an artist, an art student, and other aspects of art and the artistic world. The classes also cater to a bevy of students whose art programs are underfunded or do not provide hands-on learning. The MoMA is particularly motivated to bringing art to kids who have an interest and passion for it but do not have the resources or opportunities to learn about art in their own schools. The goal of these programs is to make sure that this new generation of teens do not lose their ability to create art and become artists.
All artwork by the kids in the Teens in the Making program will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building starting on August 17th. Teen programs at the MoMA are made possible by the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation as well as the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust, the Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Mitsui USA Foundation, and John and Margot Ernst. The In the Making program specifically credits Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman.