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Developing Intention: Expanding the Walls 2018

NEW YORK, NY, July 9, 2018 — From July 13 through August 31, 2018, Developing Intention, the 2018 exhibition of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s annual Expanding the Walls program, will be on view in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. While the Studio Museum is closed to the public to prepare for the start of construction on its new building, The Met is hosting the exhibition by fourteen young artists who participated in the latest installment of this eight-month residency, in which high school students from the New York City area study the history and techniques of photography.

Established in 2001, Expanding the Walls helps students explore and define their artistic practices and at the same time build community through workshops, gallery visits, intensive darkroom training, and discussions led by contemporary artists. The archives of photographer James Van Der Zee (1886–1983), which are housed at the Studio Museum, serve as a primary catalyst for the students’ critical reflections on the representation of culture and community. Selections from the Van Der Zee archive will be exhibited alongside the works by the young artists.

Coming to the program from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, the artists represented in the exhibition are Marcel Ayewozanna (18, Claremont International High School); Octavia Beale (15, Hunter College High School); Isaac Bonsu (17, High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice); Nabila Ferdous (16, Bard High School Early College); Ricky Garcia (17, Park East High School); Yeremi Gomez (17, Eagle Academy for Young Men); Akoe Harper (17, Thurgood Marshall Academy); Shashamani Keaton (16, Beacon High School); Terrell Murphy (17, Eagle Academy for Young Men); Sage Parsard (18, Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology); Jossie Rivera (17, Manhattan Hunter Science High School); Nikisha Roberts (18, High School of Fashion Industries); Khadija Savané (16, The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem); and Jakelyn Siguencia (18, Union Square Academy for Health Sciences).

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, said, “We’re grateful to The Met for its collegiality in presenting Developing Intention. We’re also delighted that this exhibition is taking place under the leadership of Sandra Jackson-Dumont, who founded Expanding the Walls when she was Director of Education and Public Programs at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Sandra’s innovation has done more than stand the test of time. It has proved its vibrancy over and over again, not least in the photographs that the artists in our 2018 class have created.”

Developing Intention is organized by Charmaine Branch and Nectar Knuckles, Joint Curatorial Fellows at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art, with Ginny Huo, Expanding the Walls/Youth Programs Coordinator, and the 2017–18 Expanding the Walls students.

Expanding the Walls is made possible with support from The New York Community Trust; Conscious Kids; Susan and Thomas Dunn; New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Joy of Giving Something; Colgate-Palmolive; The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation; and Clifford Chance US LLP. Additional support for The Studio Museum in Harlem’s education programs is provided by the Gray Foundation; Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; Con Edison; and the Hearst Endowment Fund. The Studio Museum also thanks the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is deeply grateful for Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee’s continued support of Expanding the Walls.

About The Studio Museum in Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. The Studio Museum’s galleries are currently closed in preparation for a late fall 2018 groundbreaking on a new home at its current location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street. Designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, the 82,000-square foot facility will be the first created expressly for the Museum’s program. The new building will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.

As the Studio Museum prepares to construct a new home, its groundbreaking exhibitions, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging art-making workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem and beyond. For maps, exhibitions, events, articles and more, visit or follow us @studiomuseum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About The Met

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.

Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

The Met’s Education Department is dedicated to making art accessible to everyone, regardless of background, ability, age, or experience, the Education Department is central to the Museum’s mission and currently presents over 32,000 educational events and programs throughout the year. These programs include workshops, art-making experiences, specialized tours, fellowships supporting leading scholarship and research, high school and college internships that promote career accessibility and diversity, K–12 educator programs that train teachers to integrate art into core curricula across disciplines, and school tours and programs that spark deep learning and lifelong relationships with and through art.

Through its website and social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, The Met expands its visitor experience to people all over the world. For additional information about the Museum, visit

Hours and Admission

Developing Intention: Expanding the Walls 2018 is on view in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enter through the street-level entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street.

Admission to the exhibition is free. For information on hours, please visit

Full Press Release

Developing Intention | Expanding the Walls 2018