Park Studio: State of Mind

Project Room 2 May 21–Aug 20, 2011

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Park Studio: State of Mind
May 21–Aug 20, 2011





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Park Studio: State of Mind is an exhibition of original drawings by 16 local students who spent their Spring Break in the museum-sponsored Park Studio program learning about public art and the related responsibilities, while creating large banners installed for public display at the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center in Santa Monica.

In this 13th annual installment of Park Studio, the museum’s free public high school art program, the students, ages 15 to 18 from Santa Monica and Olympic high schools, worked with lead artist/architect/designer Edie Kahula Pereira, architect/designer/activist Michael Pinto and artist Elkpen (aka Christian Kasperkovitz) to make art for public viewing at the Teen Center in Santa Monica, a location often frequented by the students and their peers. The drawings on display at the Santa Monica Museum of Art were used to create the banners that now enhance the facade of the Teen Center.

Park Studio, founded in 1999 and organized by Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Director of Education, Asuka Hisa, includes workshops, field trips to cultural sites, art history lessons, and studio time for the students to create work.

This year’s project creates large banners of artwork to hang at the Teen Center on a permanent armature-like structure created several years ago during the park’s remodel by Santa Monica-based Koning Eizenberg Architecture. The structure’s design lends itself to the hanging of these banners.

For Park Studio: State of Mind, students made drawings and collages with acrylic ink, pencil, pen, marker, brushes, glue, paper, found photos, tape, and stencils that were transformed into banners. Each work incorporates both text and image. The project is Park Studio: State of Mind because the imagery produced by students reflects a “state of mind.” Students illustrated the theme in a variety of ways: they pictured their own state of mind, a collective state of mind, a perceived state of mind, or a general state of mind.

Field trips explored public art in the urban landscape. The students were advised to observe the shapes and textures of the public art they viewed on trips to Abbot Kinney, Santa Monica Place, and the museum. They were also asked to consider the artworks’ impact on the built environment.

Studio work was devoted to making the drawings/collages in sketchbooks with art materials provided by the museum. Mid-week, students enjoyed a presentation by Elkpen, who described her work and activism, as well as her subtle actions in the streets, where most of her work is presented to the public.

In the last days of the project, the students finalized their images for the banners. Large format black-and-white printouts were pasted onto bond paper to demonstrate scale to the students. These large black and white printouts will be on display at SMMoA, along with the students’ sketchbooks from the program. The banners are now on view at the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, where the once-dormant armature structure has been transformed into a public art exhibition space.

Park Studio is the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s signature free outreach program offered to neighborhood high school students during spring break each year. Founded by the museum’s education director Asuka Hisa, Park Studio takes interdisciplinary art education outside museum walls and into the community. Contemporary artists lead workshops, art history lessons, and field trips to cultural sites. Park Studio is open to high school students residing or attending school in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. SMMoA presents this program in partnership with the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department and the Teen Center at Virginia Avenue Park.

Since 1999, Park Studio has provided unforgettable and formative experiences for teens. Through the transformative experience of art making and collaboration with established artists and organizations, participants gain access to ideas and opportunities that have the potential to shape their adult lives.

Support for Park Studio: State of Mind is generously provided, in part, by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission, Nordstrom, David and Sally Vena, and Paul Alan Smith. In-kind support was provided by Bergamot Café, IZZE Sparkling Juice, and the Virginia Avenue Park staff.


The program’s photo documentation exists in a blog: http://www.smmoaparkstudio.blogspot.com