Guggenheim Education Outreach Program Enters 41st Year

Installation view: A Year with Children 2012, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, May 11–June 13, 2012

A Year with Children 2012, the annual art exhibition of artworks created by children as part of the Guggenheim’s renowned Learning Through Art program, ends on June 13. The culmination of a yearlong residency program that puts working artists into New York’s public schools, the exhibition includes nearly one hundred works of art that exemplify how the arts can enhance student learning and critical thinking.

Now in its 41st year, Learning Through Art puts professional artists in the classroom of New York’s public schools to develop art projects that foster learning, encourage curiosity, and cultivate creativity. Working in grades two to six at 11 schools in all five boroughs of New York, resident artists shadow public-school teachers and design projects based on the school curriculum. During each 20-week residency, participating students are challenged to research topics, develop ideas, and develop works of art related to their respective subject matter.

The works on view in A Year with Children, which was recently highlighted by New York City’s Department of Education, range from paintings and collage to sculpture and multimedia installation that represent months of planning, thought, and innovation. Inspired by the question “How does what we need affect where we live?” fourth-grade students from PS 86 in the Bronx created large-scale three-dimensional sculptures of imagined city buildings, while third graders from PS 48 in Staten Island investigated math concepts, such as scale and measurement, to create models, blueprints, and installation drawings for site-specific artworks, which were then realized in their school garden.

Drawing on Pop art and Japanese prints, third graders at PS 144 in Queens developed projects exploring the relationship between individual and group identity, and third graders at PS 9 in Brooklyn created self-portraits on transparencies to express the multiple layers of their personality. In all, nearly 1,500 students participated in LTA.

To honor the students involved in its residency program, the Guggenheim is hosting Learning Through Art Family Day on Saturday, June 9, from 1 to 4 pm. Students who participated in Learning Through Art, as well as their families, are invited to a free day of activities, including interactive projects, and a special theatrical performance by Jukebox Radio.

Installation view: A Year with Children 2012, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, May 11–June 13, 2012. Photo: Kristopher McKay

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