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!