Sunday, November 22, 2015

RECAP // Teen Art Cooperative

The Teen Art Cooperative poses for a photo with artist Thad Mosley outside of his studio in Manchester.
If you come to the Mattress Factory on a Thursday afternoon, you might just see the Teen Art Cooperative in action - making, discussing, dreaming and scheming. Building from the success of the Summer Art Cooperative, this FREE program for high school students is in its first year and currently boasts twelve young artists. during the course of the school year, the teens will have the opportunity to meet with ten different teaching artists for workshops, plan three of their own events, talk with museum staff, and outline and expand upon personal goals.

The Cooperative aims to make the Mattress Factory an open space and a resource for teens in the same way that it is for professional artists. We believe that there are many different and exciting ways to exist as a creative individual in the world, and we want to showcase that. By examining tons of ideas and practices that fall under the umbrella term of art, we hope to provide the teens with more skills and confidence as they begin choosing their own paths and transitioning into life after high school. We think that art jobs are tough jobs, and we want to take them seriously, and make some friends along the way!

Artist Ceci Ebitz demonstrates a method of dyeing fabric with natural materials.

The teens come from high schools all over the city, including Avonworth, CAPA, Chartiers Valley, The Ellis School, Mars Area, Oakland Catholic, Obama Academy, Seneca Valley, and Total Learning Academy. In their first two months, the teens have done all sorts of things. We visited artist Thad Mosley in his studio and learned about his woodcarving and life practices, perfected over the span of seven decades. We planned our first Cooperative event and screen-printed event flyers, under the guidance of Jen Rockage and Lauren Bailey at Artist Image Resource. We learned various ways to dye fabric with natural materials with the help of local artist Cecilia Ebitz. We have made connections and gotten to know each other better. It's just the beginning and we are so excited for what's to come!

Adia Taimuty-Loomis, a junior from Mars Area High School, says that she looks forward to coming to the Cooperative every week. "Coming down here to my favorite art museum every Thursday and spending time with some amazing people is the absolute highlight of my week... Learning about the ways these fellow artists think and work influences my art and makes me a better artist myself. I love learning about the different occupations artists can have by going to places like AIR."

A Co-op teen screen-prints a flyer for their first event in December

Join us for our first event Gala in the Graveyard on December 10 from 6-8 p.m. in the Mattress Factory Lobby at 500 Sampsonia Way. Dress as your favorite departed icon of art or music. Admission is FREE, refreshments and fun activities are provided, and the galleries at 500 Sampsonia Way will be open for you to explore! We hope to see you there.

No comments: