On June 24, the New York Times broke the news of the Studio Museum's new set of initiatives designed to explore dynamic ways to work in the community and take the institution beyond its walls: inHarlem. inHarlem encompasses a wide range of artistic and programmatic ventures, from site-specific artists’ projects to collaborative presentations with civic and cultural partners in the Harlem neighborhood.
Meet our New Education Assistant!
My name is Sable Elyse Smith, and I am the new Education Assistant here at The Studio Museum in Harlem. I am originally from Los Angeles, which is one of many reasons why I'm so passionate about education and access—when I was in high school, my access to arts education became increasingly nonexistent, and I decided to commit myself in some way to arts education. My path has been long—the abridged version is that I studied painting and filmmaking at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, and recently completed my MFA in Design & Technology at Parsons: The New School for Design, where I am currently part-time faculty.
I had the pleasure of accompanying our Family Programs Coordinator and teaching artist Elan Ferguson during a visit to Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School in Harlem, one of the Museum's multi-session school partnerships. Elan worked with Ms. Siobhan Gordon’s 2nd grade classroom this fall. Elan’s curriculum supports early stages of visual literacy, highlights an artist of the month chosen by the school and introduces artists exhibited by or in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum. In addition, Elan conducts visual inquiries and uses creative writing and journaling activities to keep track of ideas and vocabulary.
Curatorial Fellow Monique Long highlights Harlem-based designer Mimi Plange
Mimi Plange was born in Ghana and grew up in California. As someone who has always been interested in fashion, her mother and her uncle were her earliest influences. Her uncle, an architect, indoctrinated her with his love of art and music which, in turn, ignited her own creativity. Plange learned to play the flute, but understood early in life that she would design clothes. Before attending Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California, she obtained a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Her favorite visual artists include Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, and Nandipha Mntambo.
Jocelyn Cooper of AFROPUNK
Jocelyn Cooper, a music industry veteran who has worked with such artists as Beyoncé and Sean Garrett, collaborates with Matthew Morgan (former music manager of Santigold), to run AFROPUNK. Showcasing black musicians making alternative, experimental and underground music and hosting numerous events throughout the year, the production company throws the acclaimed AFROPUNK FEST every summer in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY. On August 24 and 25, it held its ninth installment, featuring such celebrated acts as Grammy winners Living Colour, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and the seminal Detroit proto-punk band Death, as well as a diverse group of emerging performers such as Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco and The Skins.
On August 14, Erin Hylton, School Programs Coordinator, sat down with three college interns at the end of their summer internships in the programming departments of Community Engagement and Public Programs and Education, to reflect and share their experience at the Studio Museum with each other.
Justin Allen, the summer 2013 intern in The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Public Programs and Community Engagement department, is a rising senior and poetry major at the New School's Eugene Lang College. Harlemite Dyeemah Simmons studies Studio Art and English at Oberlin College, and this summer, she was an Education Department intern through Studio in a School's ARTSIntern program. Asha Whale, a Brooklyn native, came to intern at came to intern at the Studio Museum through the Jeanette K. Watson Fellowship; she is a History major at the City College of New York.
DJ Shaun J. Wright and Host Ricky Jones Interpret Things in Themselves
The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Uptown Fridays is a series of summer parties that place its attendees in direct dialogue with the artwork in the Museum. Each program this summer is named after a current exhibition. The first party of the season, thrown on July 26, was titled Things in Themselves, after the 2012–13 artists in residence exhibition featuring the work of Steffani Jemison, Jennifer Packer and Cullen Washington Jr.
Students at the Children’s Storefront School, an independent, tuition-free school in Harlem, are exploring the many applications of photography this semester. The Studio Museum in Harlem’s ongoing exhibitions serve as the starting point for our inquiries. After looking closely and discussing works on display, the students develop their own images in response. Beginning with portrait photography, students learn to compose a strong image that visually communicates some aspect of their own identity or those of their subjects. Their first portraits were straightforward and candid. The images they made for the second portrait evolved into imaginative expressions of their creative selves.