“Educating a New Creative Class”

The Story So Far

Burberry Inspire @ SIAS NYC

BURBERRY INSPIRE: YEAR 1

Studio in a School NYC partnered with MS582 in Brooklyn and the Bronx Writing Academy (BWA) for the first year of Burberry Inspire in New York City. In four classes and one after-school session per week in each school, students received in-depth instructions in sketching, drawing, and painting, exploring techniques in line, contour, color, tone, and value. For twelve weeks, they worked from both observation and imagination, examining a number of themes, such as personal and imaginary journeys, imaginary landscapes, and expressive self-portraits. In addition, the work of a diverse range of visual artists, including Tarsila do Amaral, Louise Bourgeois, Elizabeth Catlett, Fredric Edwin Church, Vija Clemins, and Andy Goldsworthy, was introduced to them, and a field trip to the Museum of Art and Design was organized for the MS582 classes.

When schools closed due to Covid-19 pandemic mid-term, Studio NYC quickly adapted and redesigned arts lessons for remote learning, an initiative welcomed by both partner schools. Studio NYC Artist Instructor, Matthew Mahler, created ten online asynchronous lessons, with instructional videos and illustrated step-by-step teaching guides, that he shared with both schools. The lessons focused on drawing and painting using the media of oil pastels and tempera paint, and students continued to develop their skills and create artworks through this new way of learning.

As the pandemic resulted in students citywide learning from home, Studio NYC developed other new tools for teaching in a virtual space. We launched a new online blog, Studio in Your Home, featuring videos, lessons, and prompts for art activities that children and adults can do with materials found at home. Our continued engagement with MS582 and BWA included sharing links to this site with their teachers and students.

BURBERRY INSPIRE: YEAR 2

For Year 2 of the Burberry Inspire program, Studio NYC is partnering with Kappa III in the Bronx and MS358 in Queens. Since the closure of NYC public schools for in-person learning due to Covid-19, our ten-week visual arts residencies are taking place virtually. As in Year 1, we are working with four in-school classes weekly at each school (since January at Kappa III, since March at MS358). Furthermore, the entire school population at both Kappa III and MS358 will be engaged by Studio NYC through a virtual asynchronous lesson inspired by the Burberry Creativity Kits.

Studio NYC is also providing ten-session synchronous after school clubs with live-streamed lessons to both schools to deeply engage students in visual art practice. Virtual field trips to art galleries and museums are providing additional artistic exposure and experiences, connecting visual arts to each school’s academic curricula. So far, four Kappa III classes attended virtual museum tours of the Whitney Museum for American Art.

Studio NYC is committed to building strong working and planning relationships with school administrators and teachers in order to host in-school residencies and we provide professional development for hosting teachers. This year, the planning needs have been stronger than ever, given the ongoing remote learning modality and the changing schedules for in-school and remote learning.

A special highlight has been continued programming provided by Studio NYC to MS582—one of our Year 1 partner schools. Studio NYC offered an afterschool class that provided intensive visual arts skills-building three times per week for eight students at MS582 to help them prepare art portfolios for application to specialised public high schools. These schools, which focus on preparing for careers in the arts, have limited space, and the application process is extremely competitive. Therefore, student portfolio work is crucial for entrance, and the Studio NYC workshop gives the participants a stronger chance of gaining admittance.

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