The Teen Mural Project started in full force last Saturday when fifteen enthusiastic students from three different Oakland high schools gathered at SFMOMA. We had teen rappers, t-shirt artists, graffiti artists, and lots of skateboarders. A talented bunch, for sure.
First, Annie Lawson (Manager of School, Youth and Family Programs here at SFMOMA) introduced an interview with Kerry James Marshall, and showed the teens drawings of his Atrium murals. We also looked at the work of Kara Walker and Doris Salcedo and had a conversation around the theme of “silenced histories,” a theme present in their work and Marshall’s. After lunch, we walked through the galleries, talking about works of art, & investigating connections between the work of Kerry James Marshall and works by Robert Arneson, Katharina Fritsch, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera. We went back to the Koret Visitor Education studios and the teens made mixed-media hidden history boxes: dioramas expressing their personal histories, cultural voices, and different sides of their personalities.
|(Right: Some of the teens making their history boxes. Photo:Jack Huynh)|
Today we’re meeting at Town Park in DeFremery Park to survey the mural site and meet with local historian, Steve Lavoie, to learn about the rich and charged history of West Oakland and DeFremery Park. We’re also going to visit artist Brett Cook’s studio and hang out with Keith Williams (A.K.A “K-dub”) at the park. Keith founded Town Park, after many years of teaching at Oakland High School. He’s also a long-time partner of SFMOMA’s youth programs and we’re happy to continue our relationship with him working on this special project.
Next week, back at the museum, we’re meeting with Kerry James Marshall himself! Stay tuned for more fun, more pictures, and perhaps some words from the teens themselves. Happy Saturday.