In its 41st year, Learning Through Art (LTA), a pioneering arts education program of the Guggenheim Museum, presents A Year with Children 2012, an exhibition organized by the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum and on view at the museum from today, May 11 to June 13, 2012. This annual exhibition showcases select artworks by students in grades two through six from eleven public schools who participated in LTA during the 2011–12 school year, representing New York City's five boroughs. Approximately one hundred creative and imaginative works, including drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, paintings, assemblage, and outdoor site-specific art, will be on display during this five-week installation.
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.
2011–12 School Year
Approximately 1465 second- through sixth-grade students at 11 public schools participated in 20-week projects led by 14 Learning Through Art teaching artists, who reached 57 classes during the 2011–12 school year. The participating schools are: in Manhattan, PS 28 (Washington Heights) and PS 42 (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), PS 58 (Carroll Gardens), PS 145 (Bushwick), and PS 676 (Red Hook).
In the LTA program, students investigated local and world communities, history, nature, change, and identity. While engaged with these themes, students explored a variety of materials. The works on view in A Year With Children 2012 include drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, paintings, assemblage, and outdoor site-specific art. This year, in addition to works being shown in the Annex Level 3 Gallery, the exhibition will use interstitial spaces in the museum to display projects. Two site-specific installations designed and built by third graders at PS 48 in Staten Island will be shown on the museum's terrace and will be visible to visitors from the Monitor 3 gallery. Works by third grade students from PS 9 in Brooklyn-transparencies that show multiple layers of their identity-will also be installed on the gallery's windows.
A Year with Children 2012 is organized by the Learning Through Art staff: Greer Kudon, Senior Education Manager; Alyson Luck, Education Associate; and Michelle Hagewood, Education Associate.
A sixth-grade teacher at PS 86 said, "For the past two school years the Learning Through Art program has been an immeasurable supplement to my classroom instruction. It has provided my students with academic support, vastly differentiated instruction, and an enriching appreciation for art. Week after week the program reinforces vital literacy skills, while facilitating an environment that is social yet expertly managed, fun yet rigorous, and thought provoking."
PS 48, Staten Island, Third grade
Teaching artist: Ardina Greco
Students created outdoor sculptures to be installed in the school garden. In preparation for the sculpture, the students explored a variety of materials (paper, metal, wood, found objects, tile, and plastic) to learn each material's sculptural potential and limitations. In addition to this, students also exposed the materials to the garden environment to learn which will remain intact over time. Finally, students created small-scale sculptural models that informed the final "garden sculpture" design. The form and materials of the final work resulted from these explorations.
PS 8, Brooklyn, Fourth grade
Teaching artist: Jenny Bevill
Students played various games and community building exercises exploring their own viewpoints as well as those of the people around them. In the process they created a number of drawings, prints, and small sculptures to make their perspectives concrete. A series of pop-up exhibitions throughout the year formed connections between the artists and the school community. Those exhibitions laid the groundwork for a large site-specific work with which other members of the school community can interact. Students have filmed and photographed this process from conception, to building, to the resulting interactions.
PS 86, Bronx, Sixth grade
Teaching artist: Jeff Hopkins
Students explored what it means to leave a mark and have an impact on others. Through printmaking, drawing, painting, and collage, students created a portfolio of works that examine their past, present, and future lives. They used portraiture, mapping, and text/image collages as a means to communicate their ideas. Ultimately, each student created an accordion-fold style book that serves as a portfolio of work and a record of his or her mark on the world. Each student has also contributed a page to a final printed book that will be placed in the school library as a permanent "mark" for future students to see.
For more information about Learning Through Art, please visit guggenheim.org/lta.
Related Events for A Year with Children 2012:
Benefit for Learning Through Art and Opening Reception
Wednesday, May 9, 6–7:30 pm
Tickets available. $150 each for adults, $75 each for children. This year the Learning Through Art Benefit and Opening Reception will feature a pop-up exhibition in the museum rotunda. There will be approximately 40 works of art on view from four residencies. Student docents will be on hand to 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. For more information call 212 423 3796 or
Ongoing Family Programs
June 10, 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 Collection and special exhibitions, including A Year with Children 2012. For families with children ages 5–10. $15 per family, $10 for members, free for Family Members. Space is limited. Registration recommended by calling 212 423 3587, Mon.–Fri., 1–5 pm.
Just Drop In!
After viewing A Year with Children 2012, 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 guggenheim.org/families.
A Year with Children 2012 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.; The BRIM Fund; Citi Foundation; Con Edison; Sidney E. Frank Foundation; Gap Foundation; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation's Education Committee; Guggenheim Partners, LLC; The Keith Haring Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council on the Arts; The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation; 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 with highlights of the Guggenheim's Permanent Collection and of the building, available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
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. For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at: