Expanded Art Ideas

Artists Space long ago recognized that a young person’s choice to become an artist or pursue a career in the arts is very often determined by socioeconomic and cultural factors, particularly for New York City’s disadvantaged youth. In response, we initiated Expanded Art Ideas—one of very few arts in education programs that place practicing artists inside the classrooms of New York City public schools.

Since 2001 Artists Space has partnered with P.S. 140 serving the Lower East Side, and M.S. 324 serving Washington Heights, to provide consistent art education for at-risk youth in an effort to integrate the arts into daily life and to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a career in the arts should they choose to do so.

Professional artists teach 1-2 hour-long art classes to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students throughout the school year, their focus ranging from poetry and literacy, to photography and quilt making, to expanding academic opportunities by guiding students through the preparation of individual portfolios for the entrance examinations to specialized arts high schools.

Expanded Art Ideas is administered in the classroom, but as a cultural organization Artists Space is uniquely able to go beyond this context and engage students also as artists and viewers—enabling them to experience the art world as an accessible rather than exclusive place.

We believe that in a world saturated with images it is a precondition for social justice that people have the tools to understand how images are constructed, as well as the economy of image production and its circulation, in order to recognize, articulate and propose an alternative to that world and its conditions. Providing students with these tools, as well as other practical skills, are the goals and objectives of Expanded Art Ideas.

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