Guest Blog: @TeenArtGallery Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting

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Guest Blog: Charlotte Lee, Director T.A.G.

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Nina Naghshineh, Shoe 2, clay, acrylic paint

Last summer, Teen Art Gallery received an email from the staff at The Children’s Museum of New York, asking about the possibility of a collaboration. T.A.G director, Charlotte Lee and team member, Cliff Tang sat down with them in the Fall and came up with a plan. The museum had a show of professional artists planned for February called Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting. The museums Youth program, Young Artist Kollective, (grades 6-9 ) were working on creating pieces along the same lines of the theme. TAG sat down with them to brainstorm. We taught them a bit about our curatorial and submissions process and then we presented them with a selection of works that we felt fit the theme. This was not simple because many of our submissions did not relate exactly to this theme. The students, however, found connections, made their selections and a show was born called Assembling Identity: Who We Are, What We Collect.

It includes art from the museums YAK program and 6 T.A.G artists :  Kaleigh Acevedo,  Savannah Carlin, Sasha Frolova, Henry Liddy, Mary Munshower, and Nina Naghshineh

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Mary Munshower, Happy Birthday, digital photography

Teen Art Gallery is a unique gallery created entirely by teenagers who curate and organize it. T.A.G’s mission is to give teen artists the opportunity to have their artwork exhibited in a gallery setting.  Teen Art Gallery provides a public platform for teen voices.  Since its founding in 2010, TAG has mounted 7 exhibitions in New York City of artists ages 12-19 and is in the planning stages of a show for June 2014

UK: Review of the Wallace Collection Youth Event @GeffryeYouth

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Eileen’s Review of the Wallace Collection Youth Event on 1st November 2013

My name is Eileen Gbagbo and I am 15 years old. I currently live in Barking, in Essex (UK) and I go to an all girls grammar school in Chelmsford called CCHS. I’ve been a member of the Geffrye Museum’s Youth Advisory Panel since September 2013. I joined the Geffrye YAP as it was a good opportunity to discuss and run events in the museum in collaboration with other young people. I also wanted to do more volunteering and improve my confidence, public speaking and team working skills.

On the 1st of November at 5.30pm, I along with some other friends attended the youth event at the Wallace Collection, a museum in central London. The event was aimed at University students, however, I was there as part of the Geffrye Youth Advisory Panel to view a youth event being run in the Wallace Museum as, in January 2014, the Geffrye YAP would be running an event there. Also, as I had never been to the Wallace Collection, I was interested to see the collection and the building as I had heard previously that it was very stunning.

The Wallace Collection is a national museum in an historic London townhouse. Most of the displays are of French 18th century paintings, furniture and porcelain with beautiful Old Master paintings and world class armoury. There was a Vivienne Westwood theme to the event. There were workshops such as creating your own masks, face painting and photography. The event was really classy (like the collection). The workshops were really engaging; however, I felt that that the event could have been even more engaging maybe by adding music and more workshops around the Vivienne Westwood theme. I had never seen anything like this, as it was mainly aimed at University students and there was a really nice, mature feeling to the event. From the event I learnt how to make a time- lapse film recording.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event, and having the opportunity to see how an event would be run really helped me and the YAP make decisions as to what kind of workshops and different elements we would have in our own event at the Wallace Collection on the 24th of January 2014.

 

 

Reasons Why We Need to Teach Science Using All Subjects by @DianaPitchers

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1.     Science is relevant to everything.

Science can be applied to all things. An early example is green paint in the Victorian era contained arsenic. Arsenic is highly poisonous and the paints emitted fumes. A paper titled ‘How Green is My Valance’ (P. W. J. Bartrip, The English Historical Review, 1994) detailed how as early as 1891 house-wives were falling in and out of consciousness because of the elements potency! William Morris is historically partly to blame for the furore caused as his wall-papers pushed forth the used of arsenic paint and it was he who had familial ties with the arsenic ore mining industry so green was a big pigment in wall-paper manufacture.

Veclcro was discovered in 1943 by inventor George de Mestral who found burrs attached to his dog after hiking. Who’d have thought the biological structure of a burr could be so applicable to us today? It doesn’t stop there either!

2.     Art enables people to make sense of a ‘question’ i.e. what do ‘elements’ look like?

01-Phil-Kirkland--illus.-for-Life-and-Health-(1972)_900Phil Kirkland who rose to fame during the 1970’s is famed for his interpretation of what science means. His art-work was frequently used for CRM’s Biology Today textbook covers.

A more recent example of art interpreting science is Damian Hirst’s Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind 1989 (A shark in formaldehyde), one of his most famous art-works. His art combined scientific techniques with the human ability to question the meaning of life.

DamianHirst

3.     Music can be highly immersive.

Putting music in a teaching space whether it is a stage, school hall, the street or an exhibition space can do a lot to grab attention. The Victoria and Albert museums ‘From Club to Catwalk’ (2013) exhibition does precisely that. By using various 1980’s club tracks it ‘pulls you in’ and almost sends you back to the era, its expectations and aspirations. Musicians even incorporate historical events. The band Flight Facilities used news reel voice clips (Richard Nixon’s resignation and Falklands war) combined with music over the decades i.e. 1972-1982 to illustrate the issues and the people which defined that decade.

4.     Museums are social connectors.

Museums hold objects from our past and our future. The Greenwich mean-line is one of the largest examples of this. It is the 0° of astronomical observation in the world and therefore the ‘prime-meridian of the world’ here ‘standard time’ is decided and The Royal Observatory is a true astronomical example of a museum as a connector.  We all rely on it and the abilities we now have to transcend speed and time through modes of transport such as flight are phenomenal.

5.     Performance literally brings science to life.

Have you heard at any point within a Shakespearian play the discussion of myth or faerys? These words of wisdom were usually accompanied with ‘[by] nature’ or ‘everything is just as it is’ (Hamlet). If so you are listening to 16th century science at work. So stand proud people, on top of those chairs or tables (if you are adventurous). Make play at theatre and learn along the way!

6.     Research does not have to be ‘static’.

If you want to find out about anything someone in a museum will have an answer. They will know scientists who are looking for answers to big questions. Send an email, go in and chat. They are the friendliest people on earth. Ultimately you will be able to answer your big questions through their knowledge, archives and understanding.

The Rotunda museum in Scarborough is intrinsically tied to this methodology. William Smith is the original ‘father of English geology’ he helped create the wonderful 19th century building that is the Rotunda. Within you see the results of his research and exhibitions of work relating to those who were inspired by his legacy.

7.     Objects help explain scientific development.

Don’t stand there with nothing! If you hold a compass you can describe the discovery of magnetization to the advent of navigation. The Chinese invented the ‘loadstone needle compass’ which was in use from AD 20-100. How awe inspiring is that? All that power in one now small object!

8.     Creativity can increase a sense of ‘ownership’ of a subject.

Getting ‘stuck in’ by standing ankle deep in boggy water in a field can help both understanding and knowledge development. At first hand you learn science through what you can see. ‘High water?’, ‘let’s measure it!’. Now you start to answer why water levels could change.

Experimentation, the back-bone of demonstrable science can be engaging. You can do it with sugar cubes, blue food colouring! How you ask? What does it show? If you build a wall of sugar cubes and put a few pipette drops of food colouring on the top layer you are illustrating the diffusion of rainfall through soil! It is fun and inexpensive too!

sepiaDress up! Wearing clothes from another era is as much a talking point as any other. From there you can describe how ideals and social parameters effected scientific development. Did you know that Christablle Pankhurst was a qualified lawyer with an LLB? Yet she and other professional women such as scientists were unable to practice until well into the early 20th century.

To Conclude: Science is an interesting subject. Textbooks don’t do it justice. How do you make science lift off the page? Throw in some theatre, art, noise and a space and you’ve got it!

Experience Geffrye YAP with Orlane’s Guest Blog @GeffryeYouth

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Ever wondered what it was like to be part of a Youth Group in a museum?  Here Orlane Doumbe describes her experience.  Thanks for sharing Orlane!

 

By Orlane Doumbe

I joined the Geffrye YAP because I love to help being a part of something big. I love getting involved in activities and helping to organize events is really just a big bonus. I’ve only just joined in September and have only attended one YAP meeting – the atmosphere was so open and friendly, it felt like I’m already a part of the family! In this one meeting alone, I’ve signed up to participate in a half-term Digital Media workshop at the Wallace Collection with the Geffrye and Chocolate Films. Also, I will be able to help with a Chocolate Films upcoming project about London in the eyes of a Londoner. These are just a few of the many things I’ve done in two hours!

In a typical Geffrye YAP meeting, we all eat first. There’s plenty of refreshments for all of us which is very useful for me especially as I go there directly from school! After this, we’re given an agenda and during the meeting we go through as much as we can. We also take votes, sometimes we could watch things in relation to our topic(s) and most of all this is done in a relaxed environment. We also input our ideas in different forms. We can verbally communicate to each other or sometimes we can also write it on a post-it note and read them all out. My favourite thing I’ve gotten out of the Geffrye YAP so far is being able to work with a Digital Media Company for 3 and a half days. I’m so thrilled with this opportunity because I’ve always wanted to learn how to use Media from a professional viewpoint rather than the average Keek video or Instagram picture. If this is what you experience after a single meeting alone, I can’t wait to see what I will do in a year’s time.

I think other young people should join museum youth panels because it’s a really great way to balance literally everything. In museum youth panels you learn so much, you learn about collaboration and teamwork, debating and voting. All these qualities build up your self-confidence which is a key skill especially today. We also learn marketing when doing events, this helps with the financial aspect of it all; as you learn how to organise money in the best way possible. This is shown when you’re given a project and you’re given a budget to spend on the project. Not only this, it’s a great CV enhancement as it shows that you’re not just someone with their heads in books 24/7 but you’re an active citizen in your local community.

I think young people will get an open mind when visiting museums because it makes you more aware of the past. It personally motivates me because I think to myself if these people who are dead made such a mark on the earth that even their belongings such as sofas, sculptures etc. are still on display in our generation. I want to be a part of something like that when I’m older, and would then be able to motivate other young people who are looking at the works we’ve done. So visiting museums will enlighten or dishearten your view on history, it will make a difference to your perception of life and it also motivates you to make history yourself.

Takeover Cardiff – When Hip-Hop meets Dinosaurs

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Originally posted on TakeoverCardiff.wordpress.com and reposted with permission

If you were handed the keys to a cultural venue for a day to design, curate and create what would you do with that space?

This is the question British Council Wales is posing to over 200 young people from all over South Wales as they prepare to participate in the first ever Takeover Cardiff.

takeover_logoLaunching on Saturday October 12th, as a one-day taster event, Takeover Cardiff will see key spaces in the cultural venues of the city handed over to young people (14-25) to curate, develop and participate in programmes to engage their peers. In essence Takeover is an artistic and cultural journey, weaving a trail around the Senedd, the Wales Millennium Centre, The Central Library, The National Museum and Chapter Arts Centre, showcasing international collaborative arts activity in some of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings. Outside the venues there will be street performances in dance and music; a pop up cinema in an area where an old picturehouse once stood and young filmmakers, photographers and bloggers documenting the performances as they unfold.

Our aims with Takeover are simple; to empower young people to seize control of their own event; to develop collaborations with international artists; and to demonstrate the creativity and talent of young people and artists alike. Crucially, we anticipate the launch will act as a springboard to developing a significant week-long international youth arts festival in 2014. The interest in Takeover Cardiff runs far beyond the borders of Wales.

Takeover events such as these are an increasing phenomenon, encouraging young people to take control of spaces or programming in their local venues and to participate in cultural activity. The key difference with Takeover Cardiff is the international aspect that the British Council brings; Artists from countries around the world (USA, Norway, South Africa, Ethiopia, The Netherlands) sharing their culture and expertise with young people from South Wales, many of whom have never ventured out of the towns and cities they live in. Together, and with the input of local and national arts organisations, they will develop collaborative performances, mashing up cultures, bringing the issues they want to express to the fore, and creating something that is quite unique and importantly created and developed by them.

An all-girl dance troupe from Cardiff will develop a street dance with an Ethiopian artist; secondary school pupils will hone slam poetry skills with a US beat poet and perform in the Senedd, the main centre for democracy and devolution in Wales; Young people from some of Cardiff’s most disadvantaged estates will create a spoken word/hip hop performance among the flora and fauna, the paintings of the Italian Renaissance, and assembled dinosaur skeletons of the National Museum. And out in the streets up and coming bands, chosen by their peers, will showcase their talent on the routes to and from each Takeover venue.

These venues, which some of our participants may have previously thought of as elitist or “arty”, suddenly become accessible to a new young audience. It’s about breaking down barriers and increasing participation. This, after all, is what the British Council is about, creating international opportunities for people of the UK and other countries and building trust between them worldwide.

The motto for Takeover Cardiff is thus: No agenda, just collaboration.

For more information on Takeover Cardiff, and a list of our partners, go to http://www.britishcouncil.org/wales-arts-takeover-cardiff-toc.htm

Follow us on Twitter @bcwales, Like ‘British Council Wales’ on Facebook Hashtag: #TOC #YoungCurators

Young Ambassadors free range with @ARTISTROOMS Ron Mueck exhibition at @WolvArtGallery @WAG_ARYA

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ronmueckWe are the ARTISTROOMS Young Ambassadors at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Sophie, Georgie, Laura and Dan. For nearly a year now, we have been working on, and preparing for, the ARTISTROOMS Ron Mueck exhibition.

Since the very beginning, we have been given a lot of responsibility and freedom by the gallery. We began by planning a bid, outlining all the events, workshops, promotional and documentary material we hoped to create, which we wrote and sent to the Art Fund. Fortunately, they allowed us to do everything we planned and it has been an amazing journey for us!

IMG_7812The first thing we did was plan the publication. We worked alongside a graphic designer to create the short book that follows us doing our stuff for the exhibition. The private view was the first event we helped out at. We were given two boards in the Ron Mueck: In Focus room, where we stuck polaroids of visitors holding up a note book with one word written down, which they chose to sum up the exhibition.

In July, we went on a trip to Ron’s studio in London. When we arrived at the studio, Ron answered the door to greet us and took us up into his crowded, humble workspace. It was an amazing insight into such a private space, where he spends so much of his time. He was so welcoming and polite and he was happy to answer all of our questions. We had asked people on our Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr if they had any questions they wanted us to ask Ron when we were there and we were really pleased to be able to answer those for people.

A few weeks later, we did a creative writing workshop, with inspiration from the pieces in Ron’s exhibition. When we had enough material, we began to compile our publication. This took a lot longer than we anticipated, but we had already organised the launch so we knew we had to get it finished on time. For the launch, we had the ‘Wild Thing’ silent disco, which was on the 23rd August. We put together a play list inspired by Ron’s sculptures and made jungle style decorations. On the day of the disco, we had just received our publications from the print. It was such a relief to have it finished so we were so excited for the launch. The disco was a great success, we had a lot of new people come and support us as well as friends and colleagues at the gallery.

IMG_7814The publication is now on sale in the gallery shop so if you want to take a look at it, that’s where you can find it! We hope that the publication will inspire young people to get involved with programmes like the Young Ambassadors as we have had such a wonderful experience, but we also hope to inspire more galleries to open up more opportunities like this for young people.
We have been on the radio this week, discussing our work and what we are off to do next in our lives, and we all agreed that this experience has helped us in many ways. It has expanded our knowledge, introduced us to new artists, boosted our confidence and gave us once in a lifetime opportunities we will never forget! We have done so much in the last year, that is just a brief overview and we’re not even finished yet!

The Young Ambassadors,
Sophie Meeson, Laura Morgan, Georgie Walters and Dan Crawford.

Guest Blog: The Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel @GeffryeYouth

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NB:  This was originally created for Museums Practice but re-run with permission from Geffreye’s Youth Advisory Panel:

The Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel: Programming responsive and engaging workshops and events for other young people
By: Shakeel Akram, Youth Advisory Panel Member, Geffrye Museum

logoThe Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) compromises of young people from across East London and as such we are well suited to providing relevant ideas for both monthly workshops and workshops to be held on the two significant event days as we are aware of what our community would enjoy. The YAP regularly influence the museum’s public programme by contributing our ideas in relation to the themes of the collection. All of the workshops and events we plan are discussed amongst the panel with the aim to link ideas with objects and themes from across the museum and gardens.

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Guest Blog: An update from our friends at Diamond Friends Forever @DFF_DiaMu

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Senna Theuwissen (25) youngster of Diamond Friends Forever, University Degree in Fine Arts and studying Social Work, specialization in Art and Culture Mediation. 

An addition to the posts from Nathalie, Brent and Claudia to keep you updated about our experiences and progress realizing the Pop-Up Diamond Museum.

In less than a few days the museum will open the doors to the public. We are finishing the last details but also making a new start by building up our ideas and letting them get to life. A lot still has to be done, but bit by bit it is taking shape. The vernissage is Tuesday the 2nd of July and the museum will be officially open on Wednesday the 3rd of July. I am looking forward to the weekend before the grand opening because we all will come back together to help Nathalie and Brent with all kinds of things that still have to be done. After weeks of separation because of work or exams we will be reunited.

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Guest Blog: Obi Saiq – A trip to the Docklands. Junction Youth Panel @MuseumofLondon

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blog photoHello there dear reader, my name is Ubaydullah Samiullah Saique or Obi Saiq for short (cue the star wars jokes!), and first off you are probably wondering why I have decided to start my first ever article/blog/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, with stating my name I mean you could probably just look at the header of the page and see my name so why say it again well I’ll be frank guys, I can’t do that. I mean it’s not that I’m trying to be different I’ll be honest I looked at other blogs on other sites and they were SOOOOO boring it felt like I was reading a flat pack furniture assembly manual, an insight in to the experiences of a person who I didn’t know and had no affinity with hence I decided I can’t just let you read about my experiences, my thoughts and ideas without establishing a sense of who I am. I mean what use is a map if you have no idea what area it encompasses or diagrammatically represents well folks I won’t let that happen and I won’t trick you into reading a dull blog/article/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, because I believe that is a crime, a crime so bad that I consider it to be worthy of a lengthy prison sentence! So by now you are thinking along the lines ‘Well Obi if you’re so uptight about connecting with your audience by conveying who you are why the hell have you spent such a lengthy paragraph talking absolute nonsense’, and part of me agrees with you but at the same time how can I convey who I am in merely a few sentences, a few sentences can’t even encompass the life of a man whom has existed almost twenty years that’s 240 months That is 7300 days, which is 175,200 hours, which is 10,512,000 minutes! 10 million minutes in a paragraph? As brilliant as I am that is a task near impossible so like a good comic book you will not learn of our hero in a measly 20 page issue but over hundreds of issues (or in my case a series of blogs if I’m allowed). So relax, open up can ginger beer and read on! Continue reading →

Guest Blog: A Year in the Life Of Teen Art Gallery 2012-2013 @TeenArtGallery

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tagDirector Charlotte Lee shares what life at Teen Art Gallery for a year was like.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Thanks for sharing and the honesty! 

September

We have our first meeting of the year with our new T.A.G. Team. We don’t know each other that well yet and haven’t figured out how to work smoothly as a team. We need to decide out who will work on which aspects of the organization. Matthew Pasquarelli has already been improving the website. We set the date for the submissions period and all of us have the role of reaching out to different schools and art programs to solicit submissions. Chaya Howell will create fliers to put up in schools.  Everyone has interesting ideas It is a lively discussion; we talk about the website, fundraising, a possible TAG Zine, and the exhibitions.

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