Video: Studio in a School Merges Art and Asia for New York City Students

Thanks to a partnership between Asia Society and the arts education nonprofit Studio in a School, students from public schools around New York City got to view work on view at Asia Society Museum, and in response created their own paintings, sculptures and installations that are currently on view in the Museum galleries.

"The response is always creative, always surprising," said Nancy Blume, Asia Society's head of museum education programs, who has helped organize the program for nearly 20 years, "We never really know what part of the exhibit is going to catch their imaginations."

Last December, Blume gave students from four elementary schools a tour of Bound Unbound: Lin Tianmiao, a solo exhibition by the prominent Chinese artist whose paintings, sculptures and installation pieces focused on dual tensions such as male versus female and form versus function.

The children got a chance to see the pieces up-close and discuss the work. Later, they returned to their schools in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to create their own art in response.

They worked with artists from Studio in a School, a nonprofit organization that provides art education for children around New York City through workshops and the help of professional artists. Studio in a School's 20-year collaboration with Asia Society began with children's workshops and has evolved into a full exhibition program.

"It was really all about wanting to connect the the schoolchildren," said Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum, "In that process they learn about Asian arts and culture."

This year, students worked alone or in groups to create artwork ranging from sketches and self-portraits to papier-mâché sculptures and 3-D installations.

In June, the students came to the Asia Society with their parents and teachers to present their work and see it displayed professionally in one of the museum galleries. The exhibition Inspired by Lin Tianmiao: Works by New York City Students is on display until August 4.

About the Author

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Kathleen Caulderwood is an Asia Blog contributor and freelance reporter. She has lived in India and China, but is currently based in New York City studying at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.