Throughout the fall 2021 semester, high school students in BMoCA’s Studio Project teen program have reflected on their art practices and how they view social issues. During their first meeting, Chelsea, a high school junior, noted, “We came in and talked about the social justice issues we wanted to discuss. It was just very fun to speak with a bunch of people who are my age [and] who also like art.” Studio Project is BMoCA’s long-running teen program that provides purposeful opportunities for high school youth throughout Boulder County to create dialogue about art, art making, and social issues as they affect young people. The program allows teens to share their work in meaningful ways and have a direct impact on their community.
This fall, 16 students from high schools across Boulder County focused their ideas on environmental issues and expressed themselves through printmaking with the assistance of artist Theresa Haberkorn. Ian, a high school junior in Studio Project, remarked, “I think that for group projects at school, [teachers] are looking for a right answer, or at least a more correct answer. During our [Studio Project] meetings, you’re still trying to give an answer to a question, but you get to decide what that question is and what the answer is.”
The students’ final artwork, created over the course of their weekly meetings, focuses on fast fashion and overconsumption. As they created their final project they asked many questions: How do we get sustainable, cheap materials without taking away from groups that solely rely on them? How do we combine our voices to showcase each artist’s individuality while creating something cohesive? What are we going to do with our art piece after the show, and how will we discard it in an eco-friendly way? As the exhibition gets closer, students have also considered curatorial questions including: What will be the most effective arrangement for our piece? How will the audience interact? Can a product be sold for charity alongside the art piece?
Stop by BMoCA between December 8 – 12, 2021 to experience the Studio Project’s artwork and see for yourself just how they answered those questions.
Tuesday Sweeney is a junior at CU Boulder in Professor Bob Nauman’s Museum Internship Course, and a Fall 2021 intern at BMoCA.