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Learning Through Art at the Guggenheim Museum Celebrates 40th Year with Annual Exhibition of Artwork by New York City Public School Students


Exhibition: A Year with Children 2011
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Annex Level 5 Gallery
Dates: May 13–June 15, 2011

(NEW YORK, NY – ) – Celebrating its 40th year, Learning Through Art (LTA), the pioneering arts education program of the Guggenheim Museum, presents A Year with Children 2011, an exhibition organized by the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum and on view at the museum from May 13 to June 15, 2011. This annual exhibition showcases select artworks by students in grades two through six from ten public schools who participated in LTA during the 2010–11 school year, representing New York City’s five boroughs. Approximately 120 creative and imaginative works will be on display during this five-week installation, including drawings, prints, photographs, clay sculptures, paintings, and assemblage pieces.

Program Overview
A Year with Children is an annual exhibition that presents art by students participating in Learning Through Art (LTA). LTA places professional teaching artists in New York City public elementary schools where they collaborate with classroom teachers to develop art projects that teach students art skills and techniques, and explore ideas and themes related to the school curriculum. The program encourages curiosity, critical thinking, and ongoing collaborative investigation. Additionally, LTA immerses students in the artistic process, encouraging them to view themselves as artists. Each student is given a sketchbook and an artist’s apron. Throughout the program teaching artists model practices and explorations similar to those that they use to spark their own creativity. Students’ investigations are also inspired by the exhibitions they visit at the Guggenheim during the school year. When viewing art, students participate in inquiry-based discussions that encourage careful observation and interpretation.

Learning Through Art was founded in 1970 by Natalie K. Lieberman in response to the elimination of art and music programs in New York City public schools. Since its inception, Learning Through Art has served more than 145,000 children and their families, primarily in New York City public schools.

2010–11 School Year
Approximately 1,200 second- through sixth-grade students at ten public schools participated in 20- week projects led by 12 Learning Through Art teaching artists, who reached 49 classes during the 2010– 11 school year. The participating schools are: in Manhattan, PS 28 (Washington Heights), PS 42 (Chinatown), PS 184 (Chinatown); in the Bronx, PS 86 (Kingsbridge); in Staten Island, PS 48 (Grasmere); in Queens, PS 88 (Ridgewood) and PS 144 (Forest Hills); and, in Brooklyn, PS 8 (Brooklyn Heights), PS 9 (Prospect Heights), and PS 58 (Cobble Hill).

Exhibition Overview
In the LTA program, students investigated local and world communities, history, storytelling, and identity. While engaged with these themes, students explored a variety of materials. The works on view include drawings, photographs, prints, clay and mixed-media sculptures, paintings, and mosaics. A Year with Children 2011 honors the creative process and focuses on Inspiration, Exploration, Choice, andInvention as integral themes for how content is approached in the residencies. These themes are incorporated throughout the exhibition, mirroring how students call upon these skills in non-linear and unpredictable ways. Inspiration looks at examples of how students are motivated by events, landmarks, and personal experiences to explore their ideas. Exploration examines how students experiment with materials and ideas to arrive at new questions and solutions. Choice focuses on ways that students navigate constraints and multiple possibilities to create thoughtful expressions. Invention shines light on how students use critical thinking skills to re-interpret the known and contribute new interpretations.

A Year with Children 2011 is organized by Greer Kudon, Senior Manager for Learning Through Art; Alyson Luck, Education Associate; and Michelle Hagewood, Education Project Associate, Learning Through Art.

A fourth-grade teacher at PS 86 said, “The LTA program has such an amazing impact on children, and it excites them greatly to be a part of such a rewarding experience. It gives them the freedom to express their emotions through their own creativity and imagination. Their trips to the Guggenheim in conjunction with their lessons with teaching artists open their eyes to a whole new ‘artist’s world.’ The students learn about history, art, and culture and these lessons and experiences enrich their grade’s curriculum, and more importantly, enhance their own lives.”

Select Highlights
PS 88, Queens, Third grade
Teaching artist: Antonia Perez
Connected to the English Language Arts curriculum, students examined, “What is character?” Students created pop-up books that include narrative paintings representing interactions between characters, the students, and important people in their lives.

PS 58, Brooklyn, Third grade
Teaching artist: Sarah Mostow
Two French-English bilingual classes focused on how artists respond to and represent cultures around the world. Students conducted a variety of explorations in painting, observational drawing, and collaborative sculpture as they responded to ideas brought up in studies of Morocco, China, and the Middle Ages.

PS 42, Manhattan, Fifth grade
Teaching Artist: Jen Cecere
Fifth-grade students at PS 42 researched the question “What is the purpose of landmarks?” After researching landmarks both in New York City and abroad, students discovered why these landmarks were built and how the public interacts with them. Students then chose landmarks ranging from Ellis Island to the Leaning Tower of Pisa as focal points for the final project. Inspired by the work of artists Marc Chagall and Robert Delaunay, students worked in teams of four to capture the “essence” of a famous landmark and to reinterpret that site using colorful mosaic tiles and shapes.

Related Events for A Year with Children 2011:

Benefit for the 40th Anniversary of Learning Through Art and Opening Reception:
Wednesday, May 11, 6–7:30 pm
Tickets available. $150 each for adults, $50 each for children. The event features Learning Through Art students as docents, who will discuss their work and the work of their peers. Proceeds benefit A Year with Children, the annual exhibition of art at the Guggenheim by New York City public school students, and the Learning Through Art program.

Ongoing Family Programs
Summer Sundays: June 12, 10:30 am–12 pm
Every Sunday in June, the Guggenheim offers family-oriented tours that incorporate age-appropriate conversations and creative, hands-on gallery activities with opportunities to explore the permanent collections and special exhibitions together, including A Year with Children 2011. For families with children ages 5–10. $15 per family, $10 members, FREE for Family Members. Space is limited. Registration recommended.

Just Drop In! Sundays, 1–4 pm
After viewing A Year with Children 2011, explore highlights of the permanent collection through creative, interactive projects led by museum educators. For families with children ages 3–10. Free with museum admission. No registration necessary. See signage in main lobby for location. More information is available at

A Year with Children 2011 is made possible by Gail May Engelberg and The Engelberg Foundation, as well as The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation.

Support for Learning Through Art is provided by the Achilles Memorial Fund; Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Inc.; Citi Foundation; Con Edison; The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations; Sidney E. Frank Foundation; Gap Foundation; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Guggenheim Partners, LLC; Laurence Levine Charitable Fund and Sir Thomas R. Moore; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council on the Arts; The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation; and the United States Department of Education.

Admission: Adults $18, students/seniors (65+) $15, members and children under 12 free. Admission includes an audio tour of the exhibition.

Museum Hours: Sun–Wed, 10 am–5:45 pm; Fri, 10 am–5:45 pm; Sat, 10 am–7:45 pm; closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish.


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