Hello! Wah Gwaan! I’m Shanalda, I’m a teen artist, and I’m in my second term as a Student Art Program (SAP) intern.
Soooo, the Teens Curate Teens 2016 season has officially begun, and as always TCT is expected to, and will be a-mazing. The theme is Migrations, Transitions, Traditions and the exhibition will be at Dedalus Foundation in Sunset Park. TCT exhibitions are very special for a number of reasons that I think are extremely essential for submitting artists to know. The SAP team and I thought it’d be best to convey this in a site visit/ info session, so we got to planning.
Flyers were made and posted for outreach, invitations were emailed, delicious snacks were bought- OMG those sweet potato chips were so good- and reflection cards were made. Special shout out to Stephanie (SAP Assistant) for those fabulously designed cards (up top), and to the Dedalus Foundation for helping us to make this possible. The event took place last Thursday, and it was really amazing to see plans come to fruition. Despite it being frigid outside, there was a great turn out with a lovely mix of teen artists, their adorable siblings, parents and teachers. Everyone really loved the space and could envision a beautifully curated exhibition sprouting form such a flexible base.
I not only love the space, but am a huge fan of the surrounding neighborhood. Sunset Park is blooming with a fascinating mix of cultures. This is displayed through the various languages being bellowed on its streets or seen on signs, the mouth- watering variety of dishes, the many faces of its residents, as well as many other elements of the community. There could not have been a more fitting theme. I would love to believe that being present in, and hearing about the neighborhood inspired artists to create artwork in the same way that it has inspired me.
What I find most special about TCT exhibitions is that is allows teens an uncensored opportunity to express ourselves on issues that we are normally excluded from discussions about, despite the fact that we are equally affected. Here teens are invited to express their feelings with regard to migration and its governing laws, the integration of cultures, the experiences of immigrants, and all other related topics. In addition, some of you, like me, were not born in the United States of America, and this could be an opportunity to share your personal story via 2D/ 3D art, installation art, and performance pieces. The team of curators is also comprised of teens, and by choosing what pieces to display and how to do so, they are able to make the exhibition’s narrative embody their feelings. Maya, a former TCT exhibiting artist and curator was present at the site visit to testify to the uniqueness of the program and to share her experiences as a participant. I think the importance of this outlet is something that was understood and supported by everyone present at the site visit, and it was warming to see the nod of heads, and hear the low murmurs of agreement.
In the upcoming weeks prior to the submission deadline, we will have two other opportunities for Teen Artists to learn about the site, and submission process. On Monday, March 14 we had an Info Meeting at ArtsConnection to share photos of the exhibition site, and to allow teens to hear about the experiences of a former TCT Artist and Curator, and ask questions. Also, on Saturday, March 26, Artists will have a final opportunity to visit the site. This will be very helpful in giving you a context of the exhibition, for you to see how the space could be used for site specific proposals, and also because it’s a super cool donut-shaped space, and checking it out might inspire you.
Overall, Teens Curate Teens 2016 is off to a great start. I’m extremely excited to see the breathtaking work that’ll be submitted and proposed, and I’m even more excited for the Exhibition Opening on May 14th. By the way, EVERYONE IS INVITED!
Wishing you all joy, serenity and loads of creative energy! See you soon!