This past week, we journeyed out of the comfort of our studio walls to take our first all studio field trip. Students and mentors explored the halls of Joslyn Art Museum, took in the new American Moderns exhibit and investigated the permanent collection. It was notable, that our teen artists seemed a bit out of their element. They exhibited some classically ‘teen’ behavior. They were a little shy and a little awkward. There were a lot of giggles and a few moments of awestruck slack jaws.
Our students are artists, and relatively, they are very fluent in art history and various art making techniques. Most of them had been to the Joslyn before. However, their slight discomfort at being in a new environment together illustrated how at ease they are on a day-to-day basis in our studio. I should say, their studio. Over the years, the students have really claimed ownership of Kent Bellows Mentoring Program. In the studio, our teens are bold and curious. They often take big risks and they rigorously labor to take their work to the next level. The student committee just organized their 3rd teen-led event in our gallery: an anti-valentines party. The students are becoming more interested in creating their own events and broadening their relationship with the teen community throughout the city.
Part of our effort is to extend the presence of teen artists and their unique voices all over the city. Perhaps in years to come, our young artists will have something like a sense of ownership of Joslyn’s hallowed corridors. Who is the museum for after all, if not for the brave young minds of tomorrow?