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Summer Arts Visits the Studio Museum in Harlem

By Clara Wheatley-Schaller
On Wednesday, July 21, 2010, Summer Arts visited The Studio Museum in Harlem for a private tour of the newly opened show ‘Summer Exhibitions and Projects’. The museum was closed to the public and the tour was led by former Summer Arts assistant and BFS alum Dominic Hackley, who is now the Communications Assistant in the PR and Publications department at the museum.
The exhibitions featured photography by South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa and painting, sculpture, and animation by the museum’s 2009-10 artists in residence Mequitta Ahuja, Lauren Kelley, and Valerie Piraino.
After previewing the show, Dominic felt that it would be an extremely enriching experience for Summer Arts students to see the new work as it relates directly to the courses they are taking. “Seeing work that’s very similar to theirs in a museum setting will blow their minds and allow them to aspire to and imagine having their work exhibited in a museum one day. It will reinforce the importance of the art that they are making in their classes at Summer Arts,” he explained.
The students also viewed works in the museum’s permanent collection gallery, which the curators switch seasonally, and were invited to eat lunch in the museum’s courtyard.
Rachel Webber, the Director of Summer Arts, explained that, “Summer Arts had never visited the Studio Museum of Harlem before, so it was exciting to go somewhere many of the students had never been. In addition,  the museum was closed to the public on the day of our visit, so the Summer Arts students had the rare opportunity to be in the museum all by themselves and thoroughly explore the exhibits. Because of this, they were able to focus on the artwork and connect what they saw to what they have been learning in their classes. This trip was a fantastic experience for the students. ”