MoMA offers hands-on art experience

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A dozen students from throughout the Bronx made the grade this summer as they sharpened their art inspired trades with the Museum of Modern Art program “In the Making.”

Part of the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman education and research program at the MoMA, the six-week summer course offered 60 students from around the City the opportunity to attend one of five free classes: architecture, design, film and video and mixed media, while learning from experienced professionals within the given fields.

One such student, Marantha Dawkins, a Riverdale resident, experienced the program for the first time this summer.

She said her interest in architecture led her to the Internet, where through a quick search, she found the architecture class within MoMA’s “In the Making” program.

The soon to be Stuyvesant High School junior said that while she thoroughly enjoys drafting, she was searching for an opportunity to utilize a less technical procedure.

With the MoMA’s backing, Dawkins said her learning possibilities were virtually limitless.

“Something I really like about [the program] is the variety of materials available to us,” she commented. “It’s anything that MoMA has.”

“In the Making” associate educator Marit Dewhurst said it’s through this unique learning aspect that students are able to truly grow as artists.

“So one of the things we try to do is not say no to anything,” she explained.

Dawkins said she took full advantage of this opportunity when designing and constructing a Tokyo inspired skyscraper. She also worked with her class to remodel a Victorian Dollhouse.

Adding to the classroom lessons, each student also had ongoing dialogue with artists and MoMA staff, while receiving exclusive tours of the museum’s collection.

Working to further the understanding of their given fields of interest, students were also invited on behind-the-scenes field trips to artists’ studios, architecture firms and film studios.

“The idea is really to get them out in the City seeing the range of art options that are available to them,” Dewhurst explained.

Dawkins said one of her most memorable field trip moments came when she visited a candy-making factory.

“It was really, really amazing,” she commented about their ability to construct edible objects. “And it smelled nice.”

Overall, Dawkins said the program taught her much more than technique and style. “It gave me further insight into how it could be a profession and how fun it is to design,” she said.

Dawkins said she’s now considering studying architecture in college.

Students shared their final projects with the public at an exhibition on Thursday, August 7.

Updated 5:30 pm, October 21, 2011
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