To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, the Studio Museum’s galleries and store will be closed on Saturday, January 23, 2016, in anticipation of the coming storm. We plan to reopen as usual on Sunday, January 24. Our apologies for any inconvenience. Have a safe and happy weekend!
As a self-professed impatient painter, Jordan Casteel is keen to put oil to canvas. Walking into her sunlit section within the artist-in-residence studios at The Studio Museum in Harlem, her large canvases and drawings were mounted upon the walls in various stages of progress, I was surprised to learn she felt behind schedule. Since receiving her MFA from Yale in 2014, Casteel has focused mainly on the black male figure. This subject matter continued on through exhibitions at Sargent’s Daughters (2014 and 2015), and now it reaches the Studio Museum. A few months since beginning her residency and moving to Harlem, Casteel continues to challenge the depiction of the black male figure through her large expressive portraits, but Harlem has already left its impression.
Last month The Studio Museum in Harlem invited visitors to explore the artwork in A Constellation. During the Target Free Sunday Hands On Workshop, visitors used Betye Saar as inspiration to create a work of art with symbolic imagery!
In Lil’ Studio, our mini artists were inspired by the exhibition Black: Color, Material, Concept. After we read the story Black Cat by Christopher Myers, we made artwork using only the color black!
Check out our calendar for upcoming Family Programs. We hope to see you uptown soon!
Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now connects the vibrant legacy of jazz and experimental music of the 1960s—particularly within the African-American arts scene on the South Side of Chicago—to its influence on contemporary culture. The Freedom Principle combines historic materials with contemporary artistic responses to the rich heritage of the 1960s black avant-garde, which created a distinctive new language that blurred the boundaries between art, music and design.
Our Journey to One Stop Down
As a high school student, I have had the opportunity to learn about photography at the Studio Museum through a program called Expanding the Walls. It’s an eight-month photography-based residency that immerses high school students, from all over New York City, in the world of photography. This program is specifically unique because we receive cameras and have opportunities to interact with contemporary artists and the James VanDerZee archive, and exhibit our work in the Studio Museum’s galleries.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
As an intern in the Curatorial department at The Studio Museum in Harlem, I have the opportunity to explore how the Museum functions behind the scenes. At work, it is exciting to observe how our curators harness the power that exhibitions and their surrounding discourse possess in order to activate art as a social and political tool. Selecting artists and framing their work in relation to broader thematic concerns is one of a curator’s primary responsibilities, and I am especially interested in the long-term relationships between our curators and the artists. The Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum, founded in 1968, provides an excellent example of the close working relationships between curators and creators. One of my projects at the Museum is to manage a database of information concerning AIR alumni.
Finding Themes and Experimenting with Materials
As the sixteen high school students continue on their eight-month, photography-based journey at the Museum through the Expanding the Walls program, they take time to look through and thoroughly discuss work by artists such as Lorna Simpson, Malick Sidibe, Gordon Parks and others to help shed light on the multitude of topics and themes photography can cover. The hope is that in studying these artists, the students gain an introduction to themes that they might later choose to focus their projects on. As emerging artists with newfound creative voices, the students struggle with capturing their experiences, perspectives and comments on their respective themes. Many found themselves stuck when trying to analyze and build upon the themes they have chosen, feeling that their approaches had already been employed in a multitude of projects by other artists.
Samuel Levi Jones & More
For his first solo museum exhibition, Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound, Samuel Levi Jones transforms the Studio Museum's Project Space with a site-specific installation made of dismantled law books. When deconstructed into their basic components—covers and spines—the reference books’ implicit authority symbolically disintegrates. Stitched together in wall-to-wall grids, the fragmented books hang like paintings, emphasizing form and materiality. Once the books are stripped of their identity, their function and value are obscured, even negated. By manipulating law books, Jones engages with recent criticism of the American justice system.
with Exhibition at Word Up Community Bookshop
Arts & Minds is celebrating five years at The Studio Museum in Harlem with an exhibition at Word Up Community Bookshop, a non-profit, volunteer-run bookstore and art space in Washington Heights. On Sunday, March 8th, participants, friends and family members gathered for the opening reception.
Every two weeks, people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their caregivers gather at the Studio Museum to discuss the art on view and to respond creatively in the studio. This ongoing experience is the catalyst for the art now on view at Word Up. Co-curated by Executive Director, Carolyn Halpin-Healy and Arts & Minds intern Jessica Kemper, the works in the exhibition range from collage and chalk drawings, to watercolor and acrylic painting.
Just the beginning
Not very often will a beginner photographer get an intensive class at a prestigious art school, but that is exactly what happened for the 2015 class of Expanding the Walls. Many of the participating students came to the program without any previous knowledge of photography. Slightly overwhelmed, some of the students worried about how they would capture images with a high tech camera. While a few students had some experience in photography, they still lacked an in-depth understanding of the camera’s workings. So to ease the students into using their cameras and the world of photography, Isaac Diggs, photography professor at Schools of Visual Arts, lent a helping hand. Throughout the month of February, ETW class sessions took place at the SVA campus, where Diggs led an intensive class covering the technicalities of the camera as well as the bases of black and white darkroom photography.