Where You Been?

From The Sun Empire to The Big Apple by Jennifer V.

From The Sun Empire to The Big Apple by Jennifer V.

Curator’s Introduction and Exhibition Gallery:

Where You Been?  is an art exhibition that explores migration, transitions, and traditions in today’s society. The artworks exhibited reflect upon the idea of moving from one place to another, and the expectations, realities, and emotions that come along with change. The artworks tell the various experiences of people from all backgrounds, including what it meant for them to assimilate into the United States. The artists varied stylistic choices do not only represent the multi-talented youth of New York City, but they also demonstrate how art can be used to express opinions and stories.

Through the Student Art Program, the pieces were submitted and provided to the teen curators. The Dedalus Foundation, the partner and host for the exhibition,provided the space to hold curator meetings, and displayed the exhibition. I am Jada-Renee, and as a member of the curatorial team, I can say that we spent a lot of time and close consideration going through the submissions for this exhibition. The different themes, perspectives, and cultures, shown were crucial to maintaining diversity, and allowing multiple voices to be heard.By the end of the process, there were 27 pieces selected from approximately 120 submissions from teen artists throughout the city. The curators are proud of the work they’ve done, and want to thank all of those who helped make this exhibition possible, ESPECIALLY THE ARTISTS! Enjoy the show!

Click here to see all those involved in the production of this exhibition, as well as the original curatorial statement with Spanish and Mandarin translations!

We encourage you to Click here to read all of the artists statements!


Intern’s Pick

Each week, one of our teen programs interns presents their top picks of arts and cultural events just for you. This week’s picks are from Keila Peralta.

ForeverForever Image
Friday May 22 and Saturday May 23 @ 2PM & 8PM; Sunday May 24 @ 2PM
New York Theater Workshop
79 East Fourth Street
New York, NY, US, 10003
$5 with High 5 Tickets

Long-time New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect Dael Orlandersmith (Yellowman, Monster, The Gimmick) returns to the Workshop with an uplifting semi-autobiographical exploration of the family we are born into and the family we choose. Forever draws from Orlandersmith’s own pilgrimage to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris — the final resting place of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. At the graveside of these timeless artists, Orlandersmith finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.

The Tempest – Shakespeare in the ParkThe Tempest_Interns Pick
March 27 – July 5, 2015 @ 12:00PM
The Delacourt Theaeter in Central Park
81 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
Free Tickets

It’s one of Shakespeare’s classics! Prospero unleashes a storm to shipwreck his traitor brother who stole his throne, settling the score once and for all. But bitter revenge is flipped around by newfound love in this masterpiece that proves we are all “such stuff as dreams are made on.” Tony Award nominee Michael Grief directs and you will see Academy Award nominee Sam Waterston return. Shakespeare in the Park is presented by The Public Theater.

Simon Hantai Pliage: The First DecadeSimon Hantai Pliage_Intern Pick
April 28 – June 26, 2015, Tue–Sat @ 10AM–5:30PM
45 E 78th St.
Mnuchin Gallery
New York, NY 10075

In 1960 Hantaï, a Hungarian-born French artist, developed a style he called “pliage.” It involved folding, crumpling, tying and trampling on canvas before painting the areas left exposed. This show revisits his earliest efforts with the technique that became his signature and defined his role as one of postwar Europe’s key abstractionists.

Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumGuggenheim Building
Friday – Wednesday @ 10AM-5:45PM
1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)
New York, NY 10128-0173
Admit 2 people for $5 with High 5 Tickets

An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums. Visitors can experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and daily tours of the galleries led by museum educators. Founded on a collection of early modern masterpieces, the Guggenheim Museum today is an ever-growing institution devoted to the art of the 20th century and beyond.


\’self\ Portraits of Artists in their Absence

The National Academy was founded in 1825 by a group of artists and architects whose vision was to “promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition.” Their objective is evident with their current exhibition \’self\ Portraits of Artists in their absence. The exhibition is a collection of 145 self portraits depicting different genres and styles true to the artists. When you walk through this exhibition you are transported through different ages of portraits from the the beginning of the 1800s though the early 2000s. Each is connected with one recurring theme what is the artists interpretation of his or her self portrait and how they should be remembered. The exhibition was fascinating because you can experience artists from each era and the styles they are known for. There were however some pieces that stood out in the exhiEvan Delgado 1bition.

The first self-portrait that catches my eye in the main exhibit is Boushra Almutawakel’s Mother, Daughter, Doll. This series of 10 c-print photographs depicts the artist posing together with her daughter and doll. It shows the different ways of wearing a hijab, or headcovering worn by many Muslim women. As you look at each portrait, the coverage increases until the last portrait, where there is a black image with everything completely covered. I found it was a strong piece to begin this exhibition. The prints makes you think of the final outcome how much coverage is to much or what society thinks of the hijab in general. It’s a piece that sparks conversation and I was curious to see what other artists did. However, before you dive into the other portraits of the exhibit you cannot help but notice Robin’s costume in the middle of the foyer of this mansion. Yes, you read correctly Robin’s costume – as in Batman and Robin. After looking over the costume, I can’t believe how well it looked since the 1960’s.

The first group of portraits I encounter on the second level of the exhibition are from the 1800s and early 1900s. Nothing against the 1800s, but I could really breeze through this side of the exhibit, even though some of the paintings look eerily real, like their eyes are following as you walk on by. I move on to the next room where amid sculptures, a tin can (remember this is the artists interpretation of what his self-portrait should be) and a digital image. I’m drawn to a self-portrait by Chuck Close. This portrait may look very generic from afar but looking at it closely the print was made with dots and what looks like graphic lines. I thought it was a pretty cool portrait, but what really catches my eye is the sculpture in the middle of the room. The sculpture, Double-Sex Rococo Scholars Stone Scream Mandorla, with decoration by Barry X Ball, is made with Mexican Onyx. It’s a three dimensional sculpture of a head screaming. At first glance, you think the head is melting, but looking at it from the front of the face the sculpture is screaming. This became my favorite piece of the collection. The sculpture can convey different interpretations; it may even remind you of a horror movie. In using the onyx with the different colors blending gave the sculpture a marble look and the way the sculpture was cut made it look almost lifelike. I also like the texture and the way he carved the sculpture. You can see every line and it gives it more definition and detail. As you leave the space and go up the stairs you have the opportunity to leave your mark on this great space.You are allowed to grab a marker and leave a part of you at the National Academy Museum. Evan Delgado 2I thought it was an awesome idea – how many museums do you know that lets you draw or write on their walls? So I grabbed a marker and left my mark, no I can’t tell you what it is, so don’t ask.

On the fourth and last floor of the exhibition are the modern art portraits, here you see a mix of mixed media, digital prints, a short film and sculptures. I enjoyed all the different styles of the modern artists’ interpretations of their self-portraits. Beyond seeing an Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons’ portraits, the two paintings that captured my attention in this room is first Robert De Niro Sr. self-portrait oil on canvas. The colors and the way he painted his face half red and half yellow makes you want to look at it. It’s only then you realize the name behind this portrait that it is the Robert De Niro’s father who painted this portrait. Everett Raymond Kinstler’s Triple Self-Portrait oil on canvas was impressive. I liked the way he showed the different viewEvan Delgado 4s and perspective as you look at the painting. You’re looking at him, looking upon himself, looking upon himself.

What exactly is a self-portrait? Though at first you may think, “Oh, it’s an artist’s selfie,” really it’s not. A self-portrait can consist of many things; it can be a painting, a   Evan Delgado 3 picture, a sculpture, a small film or just a small tin can. A self-portrait is what an artist’s feels should represent him or her.

I recommend this exhibition for everybody. There is a style and technique of art for everyone, you like photography and prints they have it, traditional oil on canvas, it’s there, sculpture using materials besides clay, don’t look any further. Don’t just take my word for it, go see it for yourself, the best part is you pay what you feel and leave your mark on an over 100 year old mansion.



The National Gallery Museum will be hosting Self: Portraits  of Artists in their absence from January 29th to May 3rd, 2015.

Teens Curate Teens: Cynida’s Story (part 1)

Cynida 1

Teens sit under Cynida’s artwork in the Teens Curate Teens exhibition, “A Rose from Concrete.”

Editor’s Note: In Spring 2014, Cynida’s artwork was included in the Teens Curate Teens exhibition “Rose From the Concrete,” a collaboration between ArtsConnection teens and the non-profit organization No Longer Empty. Cynida went on to be an ArtsConnection all star, participating in Summer TRaC and even interning for the Student Art Program! This is Part 1 of Cynida’s ArtsConnection story. Learn more about Teens Curate Teens and apply to become a teen curator of the spring 2015 exhibition.

My story starts out as an artist. My partner Cleon and I designed a project for the 2014 Teens Curate Teens exhibition Rose from the Concrete. It was based on the reflection of the space that we were exhibiting in, which was located at 155th St. Nicholas Ave in Harlem, New York.

We decided to build our version of the Statue of Liberty because it would reflect the theme of the Sugar Hill community (more about our artwork in Part 2!). The installation of the piece at the Sugar Hill site gave me a greater appreciation of how art is viewed. During the installation I was able to meet and interact with both student and professional curators. This became a part of the art exhibition process for me because I was able to freely give my opinions to the curators and help them create the experience for Rose From the Concrete. I also came back on other days to help the curators prepare for the opening reception. While doing this I met the other artists and talked to them about their work and how they approached their art process.

The opening reception was so different from what I had imagined because it was loud, exciting, and very entertaining. There was a long line snaking in front of the building of people waiting to come in. Since ArtsConnection collaborated with the organization No Longer Empty there was a diverse amount of art work as well as artists, who ranged from early teens to professional adults.

cynida 2

Teen artists and curators picnic in Central Park after the exhibitions opens.

A few weeks after the opening of the exhibition, the curators and teen artists met up for a day of reflection. This was interesting to me because we got a chance to get to know each of the artists. I got insight into the process they went through towards creating their work and how they arrived at the final product. Something I found really cool was how each artist had come upon their inspiration for their piece. I thought this was awesome because I got to experience how other schools’ art programs work and I was amazed by how Rose from the Concrete had so many different pieces made of a variety of mediums. After the discussion we had a workshop in front of the site and had to create our own city out of a variety of found materials.

My experience as an artist in the Teens Curate Teens program has led to so many new opportunities and connections that I can’t even being to describe it. The entire experience gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and I was able to expand my knowledge of the concept of art.

Teens Run Free in SSP!


This summer, while being in the Summer TRaC Program, twelve teens and myself got the amazing opportunity to travel across multiple boroughs in order to get a first-hand view of art and write about it. The icing on the cake was that all of these art events were completely free! Out of all the attended events, one that stood out was the trip to Socrates Sculpture Park. At Socrates Sculpture Park there was a very unique display of artwork. Below you can find a few snapshots of the works of art experienced at Socrates Sculpture Park. [Read more…]