Thursday, August 16, 2012

Linking Our Summer at Joan Mitchell Foundation

                      Soaring buildings. Sailing cruise ship. Glazing skies.

Museum Teen Summit stood, both dazed and awestruck, at the heart stopping view emitting from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In their offices overlooking Chelsea, the Foundation strives to fulfill the dream of Joan Mitchell: "to aid and assist contemporary artists and to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities." Through a series of studio art programs stationed throughout the five boroughs, the Foundation allows visual artists to create an extensive portfolio of works, thus leading to impressive college and profession careers in the arts.

As our team circled around the delicious bag of apricots and corked open the gleaming bottle of sparkling water, Museum Teen Summit looked back on our summer, beginning with our research projects. After weeks of grappling with the question 'Why aren't teens in museums?', narrowing slimmer into individual and/or group topics (such marketing, teen programs and events, education, etc.), and formulating surveys and interview styled questions for a teenage and programmer audience, we are now in the process of analyzing common patterns from our results. With time and buzz, all of our different research projects will eventually have answers leading up to our one whole, golden conundrum: "What aren't teens in museums?"

Concluding our productive roundabout, we traveled back, beginning weeks and weeks ago on a mid-July's afternoon at El Museo del Barrio. And as we moved further to MAD, Whitney Museum, Children's Museum of Art, Frick Collection, Brooklyn Museum, New Museum, Bronx Museum, High 5, New York Historical Society, and finally, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, we reminisced on three highlights, two favorite phrases/quotes, and two goals for the future of Museum Teen Summit. And on colorful pieces of construction paper (except for yellow; a color thief wanted to construct suns?), we jotted down these memorable experiences and aspirations, and chained them onto their corresponding museum and institution. In a muffled, rainbow-coated 'scarf', we passed and wore the MTS summer chain, and one by one, we all smiled and giggled at our fun and productive summer we shared together.  

Through all the travels and explorations into various museums and institutions, this summer with Museum Teen Summit was indeed a unique, monumental experience never to be forgotten. But we must never forget: we are not finished! Our growing research projects, exciting social media endeavors, and upcoming teen nights are in our midst. With this hot, sizzling summer page turned, there comes a new, fall breeze signaling a beginning.

Enjoy these last few beautiful days of summer everybody!  

-- Ramona Venturanza

P.S. Check our more of our Joan Mitchell Foundation photos on our Facebook Page!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Art is about understanding, not just looking." with NYHS

“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move... Nobody’d be different.  The only thing that would be different would be you.” – Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye)
With all history museums, you can always learn something new every time you visit them.  MTS was lucky enough to have our very own Hammie Park take us on an engaging and enlightening tour of the New York Historical Society on the Upper West  Side.  She immersed us into the pure essence of New York City history by bringing us to many inspiring exhibitions including Stories in Sterling, Making American Taste, and the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.  We saw everything from the Civil War to even Hitler's utensils!

MTS looking presidential
MTS then met up with New York Historical Society’s teens.  Their task for the summer was to find a piece of art that inspired them in the museum, to historically interpret this piece of art by writing a paper, and to work in small groups to present their projects to an audience.  The goal of this project is to engage the public with their piece and tell the history of New York City in 30 objects.  MTS was thoroughly impressed by the ways the NYHS students were working on engaging museum visitors in NYC history:

·         Military expressed in a documentary
·         Business summarized in a witty catch phrase
·         Art and literature showcased in a video
·         Political figures displayed in political cards and poems
·        World War I and II presented in a matching game
·         Innovation cleverly shown in a pop-up book
·         Disaster represented in posters with subtopics
·         Gilded Age reveled in a crossword
·         And political corruption coming to life through a life size monopoly game

After Billy sparked up some questions for the NYHS students, MTS learned that they loved the history of a work of art the most and that the purpose of art is to connect with people.  Art is about understanding, not just looking.  It helps to view a piece of artwork without the facts first and interpret it yourself, and then it’s time to learn the history and discover what the piece is really about!
And MTS is busier than ever with our research projects and launching our website very soon.
Also, don’t forget about the teen nights coming up: The Museum of Arts and Design (September 21st) and the Frick (September 27th)

-Nicole Marino

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rolling Out the Beans at High 5 Tickets To the Arts

Through the vibrant studios of Arts Connection, Museum Teen Summit breathed an air of productivity as we turned our attention to the offices of High 5 Tickets to the Arts. Tucked away in Midtown Manhattan, High 5 opens doors to New York's trending events and programs, including dance, music, and visual arts, at the unbeatable price of $5 (I know - seems too good to be true!). How are we connected? Both Museum Teen Summit and High 5 walk on a common, silver line: generate teen participation in museums.

Circled around their conference table, High 5's Program Manager, Colin P. Delaney, and Communications Manager, Clair Coveney, lent us a helpful hand on our next big project: creating an easy-to-use rating site where teens comment and review on museum programs and events around New York City. Like Yelp, this widespread database would be the pinnacle of an 'information interchange' between the teen and educator; youths would voice the pros and cons of a program, while museum educators, looking to advance and better their programs, would consider and apply these critiques.

But most of all, our teenage-dreamlike-museum program database would satiate one of Museum Teen Summit's climactic goals: creating the youth community.
Like how Urbanspoon draws both restaurant connoisseurs and hungry go-getters, MTS's rating site would entice both the teenage artist and non-artist, the museum goer and the museum stranger. And together, with teens actively participating in this auspicious site and varying museum programs, MTS would establish a community of teens sharing and embracing the arts.

Stay tuned on our progress; there is much more to come!

By the way, Museum of Art and Design is hosting a teen night (!!!!!)
So really, STAY TUNED!

-- Ramona Venturanza


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MTS Revolution at the Bronx Museum

If you could start a revolution, what would be your cause?

MTS, a museum revolution (if we may say so ourselves), ventured into the Bronx Museum to get a taste of its bold, worldly artwork.  Glendalys Medina welcomed MTS into the museum by inviting us to make tags with our names and artwork on them.  By hanging up our artsy tags in the lobby, we made our mark and added our own history to this daring museum, which already has a variety of awesome culture and evolution in it already.
The Revolution NotTelevised exhibit featuring Cuban Revolution artwork and the Style Wars exhibit which emphasizes the impact of words in art really got MTS’s creative juices to flow.  We then created our own revolution. 

Each of our revolutions consisted of:
·         A cause

·         An element (water, wind, fire, and earth)

·         A statement

·         A symbol

·         And a number

Hannie Chia spoke to MTS about the Bronx Museum of the Art’s Teen Council.  This inspiring program is made up of qualified teens who share their creative ideas to make zines, learn digital art skills, exchange ideas with other museums, and help improve the Bronx Museum with their artistic mindsets.
Say “yes” to life and check out the Bronx Museum! It’s free admission, so why not?

-Nicole Marino

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MTS Gets 'Technosavvy' with Milwaukee Teens (Part 2)

After our tour at the New Museum, MTS went back to our long white table and tree stumps for a skype chat with the Teens from Milwaukee Museum. Even though the cafe was loud and noisy we still managed to hear what the Milwaukee teens had to say about their program and . . . well also the relationship between teens and museums in Milwaukee. They gave us a glimpse of the teen night that they're planning and it lasts until midnight! So teens in Milwaukee keep your eyes out for this exciting event.

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin, yet the teens from The Milwaukee museum say that there are only a few museums there and they are not even free for students! The museum admission ticket is almost equal to a movie ticket and we asked teens whether they would go watch a movie or visit a museum, almost everyone replied with movies.

Before we know it, it was time to go for the Milwaukee Teens, we bid goodbye with a little icebreaker and showed them our famously known NYC streets, even though it wasn't 42nd street or anything, it was still very New York since someone came and photographed us through the New Museum's Glass window.

-Khachoe Ronge

MTS Gets 'Technosavvy' at the New Museum (Part 1)

The Team embracin' the sun
On a gloriously sunny Thursday afternoon, Museum Teen Summit beamed through the glass window panels of the New Museum. Sitting at the cafe's long, white table and tree stumps (literally!), our team flashed out the notebooks and laptops, and hopped onto our research projects. Here is a list of our individual/group investigations:

  • Marketing: outreach strategies through various platforms 
  • Art Education: transferring teaching from the classroom over to a museum
  • Barrier Between Museum and Teens: the common excuses for not visiting a museum
  • Drawing the 'Non-Artist' Teen into Museums: uncovering and inspiring the artist inside of them
  • Teen Programs: inquiring enjoyable aspects of a museum teen program through the eyes of a teen
  • Teen Events/Nights: the key strategies to hosting a hallmark teen night 
Through a wide array of surveys and personal interviews, MTS will question fellow teens and educators to lead into our common, most perplexing question: Why aren't teens in museums? 

Han Haacke, Blue Sail
And as always, we never leave a museum untouched. From the neon green elevator MTS walked into the New Museum's master exhibition of contemporary art: Ghosts in the Machine. Contemporary works of Han Haacke, Robert Breer, and Otto Piene reel museum goers into a dystopia where modern technology is seen as both ruinous and beneficial to society. Through means of everyday science, such as kinetic and potential energy, the showcase transforms conventional technology into objects of fluidity. There is, indeed, a connection between technology and art. 

Like the many artists shown Ghosts in the Machine, Museum Teen Summit uses technology to connect to a wider audience... In Milwaukee!

To be continued...

-- Ramona Venturanza      

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Raw/Cooked at the Brooklyn Museum

It’s easy to fall in love with the Brooklyn Museum as soon as you peak your head out from the subway.  The architecture of the Brooklyn Museum combines traditional columns and intricate stonework with a modern open glass entryway to really give the museum a fresh transitional attitude.  As soon as MTS met up with Matt, he assured us that diversity is key for both the visitors and exhibitions of the museum.  He showed us an awesome gallery that connected places, people, and things and drew common threads throughout a wide time frame. 

MTS asked Matt, “Why have teens in museums?” Matt stressed that teens are “hip and knowledgeable” and if museums are cool enough for teens, then they must be doing their job right.  Teens are the future of museums and the more they’re involved with museums now, the better museum events and programs will be in the future.  We were then led to check out Ulrike Müller’s Raw/Cooked exhibit.  Our task was to use the artwork descriptions to come up with our own drawings that displayed an issue we felt strongly about. 

The Brooklyn Museum is famous for its Target First Saturdays, which are FREE events held at the Brooklyn Museum on the first Saturday of every month.  Guests can enjoy free art and entertainment.  MTS invites you to check out these sweet free events!
-Nicole Marino

Thursday, July 26, 2012

MTS is Excited for the Frick's first Teen Night

MTS explored the elegant Frick Collection this past Thursday with great anticipation for the museum’s first free museum event for teens this September.  We were greeted by Rika Burnham, Head of Education, who introduced us to the classic beauty of the Frick’s European art.  We admired the peacefulness and mature atmosphere of the Frick as well as the breathtaking art.  Rika encouraged us to admire Giovanni Bellini’s famous painting of St. Francis and let us discover the painting’s symbolism and mystery on our own.  From the symbolism of the donkey and sheep in the painting to the shadows under St. Francis’ feet that suggest he is hovering ever so slightly above the ground, this painting will continue to amaze us as we discover even more about it on our next visits to the Frick.

Although MTS loves how the Frick is one of New York City’s best kept secrets, we couldn’t be more excited to share this museum with other teens at the museum’s first ever free event for teensOn September 27th, the Frick will be opening up its Gilded Age mansion for teens to sketch in the Garden Court, to enjoy music by members of the Praxis Youth Leadership Orchestra, to be inspired by gallery talks, and to enjoy the wisdom of the Frick’s Chief Curator.  MTS spoke with Anna Finley, Education Assistant, Claire Coveney, Communications Manager, Adrienne Lei, Education Programs Coordinator, and Eduardo, Intern, about this exciting new teen night. 

So come join MTS at the Frick Collection on September 27th for this enchantingly awesome teen night!

-Nicole Marino

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Museum's 'Disney World' @ Children's Museum of the Arts

On Charlton Street, Museum Teen Summit uncovered a museum's euphoric version of Disney World at the Children's Museum of the Arts. But unlike the princesses and mouse eared characters lining the streets of Florida, New York's 10,000 square foot space in SoHo inspires artistic creativity as showcased in the current exhibition, Art Forms: 75 Years of Art Education.
Looking through the artwork of student and educator 
From June 21 to September 15, "Art Forms examines the relationship between art educator and art student by showcasing three intertwined elements that reveal the lifeblood of CMA's mission and philosophy: current children's artwork by CMA's 2011-2012 public school partnerships, artwork by Teaching Artists, and antique children's artwork from CMA's permanent collection..." Ranging from flying sculptures to intricate drawings, the exhibition exemplifies how students and teachers inspire each other.


Invigorated by Art Forms, Museum Teen Summit took our energy to the art studios where we fleshed out ideas, comments, and concerns leading to the big question surrounding our research projects: Why aren't teens in museums?
And once establishing our 'jumping off point', we devised methods that may answer this ambiguous question, which includes concocting a timeline, creating samples, collecting data, and interpreting insights. 

Little by little, we grappled and discovered our various interest points answering the big 'why'; pros and cons surrounding marketing, teen programs and events, education, and visitations factor into teen participation in museums. Individually, we broke down our topics even further as we colorfully devised diagrams.

Now, with our topics firmly set in stone, Museum Teen Summit is ready to commence research! Keep posted on our progress; our results may surprise you!

-- Ramona Venturanza

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Jackpot of 'Impact' at The Whitney Museum of Art

Yayoi Kusama in Yellow Tree furniture room at Aich triennale, Nagoya, Japan, 2010 (detail).
The rainy streets of the Upper East Side did not dishearten the motivated mood of Museum Teen Summit as we gathered into the lobby of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Greeted by the education department's Berry Stein, we walked into the wide elevator shafts and rode up into the exhibition, Yayoi Kusama. Toured by our very own, Billy Zhao, Museum Teen Summit explored Kusama's intense retrospective of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and films through the bustling jungles of Japan and New York City.
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Accumulation, c. 1963. Sewn and stuffed fabric, wood chair frame, paint, 35 1/2 × 38 1/2 × 35 in. (90.2 × 97.8 × 88.9 cm).
Concluding the tour, our team shuffled the architectural staircase into the conference room where we consulted with members of the Whitney staff on their own research project: the overall, poignant impact of teen participation in museums. Many of us curious teens, gazing at artwork or sketching in an art program, take for granted what a museum serve for us, both as individuals and leaders. In a nut shell, here are the five short and long term qualities museums can give us:

  1. Personal Growth
  2. Leadership
  3. Social Capital
  4. Arts Participation
  5. Artistic & Cultural literacy
From Museum Teen Summit over to you: museum programs affect our character and future.
Go ahead, visit, and try one; trust me, you will not regret it!

-- Ramona Venturanza