"The Smack Mellon Files" Exhibition

Smack Mellon

poster for "The Smack Mellon Files" Exhibition

This event has ended.

The Smack Mellon Files is an exhibition of work created by students during Smack Mellon's Summer Arts Intensive arts education program. Through this program, every August, Smack Mellon's 6,000 square foot gallery is transformed into a giant art studio where young people aged 12-15 can create in diverse media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and animation. This year, students were also fortunate to work and exhibit in a satellite space at 30 Washington St.

The exhibition title, The Smack Mellon Files, is partly inspired by El Museo del Barrio's The (S) Files exhibit of contemporary Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American New York artists, which the students visited on an early field trip. Like The (S) Files, The Smack Mellon Files contains work by a group of emerging young urban artists, and their work is largely inspired by the objects, materials, and stories they encounter in their daily lives and on NYC streets.

Smack Mellon's Summer Arts Intensive runs Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm for the month of August. Guided by artists who are experts in their field, the students delve into a different medium each week. During the first week, installation artist Sonya Blesofsky taught students to make expressive drawings and paintings by observing fruits, vegetables, kitchenware, and other everyday objects, as well as indoor and outdoor spaces in the neighborhood. In Blesofsky's Sculpture and Installation class during the second week, the things students normally throw away, like cardboard and plastic bags, were transformed into oversized sculptures of the things they use and wear. Students' everyday actions become the inspiration for sprawling site-specific installations of string, wire, and felt.

Re-purposed crafts materials and mixed media will also dictate the young artists' work during the last two weeks of August, as they create collaborative photo and video projects with photo/video artists Michael Paul Britto and Jessica Ann Peavy. These include picture books combining photography and drawing, neighborhood scavenger hunts, hand-altered self-portraits, and original puppetry and stop-motion videos. Smack Mellon's state-of-the art Media Room will serve as a laboratory for printing professional quality photographs and editing videos.

The students' work is also informed by weekly field trips to other New York City museums and art spaces. In addition to looking at street-inspired work at El Museo del Barrio, we traveled to Governors Island to see the Figment interactive sculpture garden (featuring many works also made of recycled materials), and the gigantic steel sculptures of Mark diSuvero. Over the next two weeks, we will investigate the history of movies and TV and the work of Jim Henson at the Museum of the Moving Image, and receive a private tour of the Modern Art Foundry in Queens, to learn how metal sculptures are fabricated.



from August 27, 2011 to September 04, 2011
The show was extended open on Sept 3-4, from 12-6pm.

Opening Reception on 2011-08-26 from 18:00

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