St. B’s Visits The Studio Museum in Harlem

by Ben A., Community Gathering Committee co-chair
On the chilly Saturday morning that was November 18, the St. Bernard’s Parents Association Community Gathering Committee hosted an event at The Studio Museum in Harlem.  
A total of forty-four members of St. Bernard’s families, Old Boys, and past parents attended a wonderfully organized tour and art workshop by The Studio Museum’s education department.  The group gathered in the museum’s workshop room, where we were split into two groups and led on tours of the museum’s collection by two of its artist/educators, Ray and Blake.
These two young men engaged each group in discussions of several works of art including Glenn Ligon’s simple but powerful neon installation of Muhammad Ali’s famous improvised poem “Me, We,” Amy Sherald’s captivating portraits, Jacob Lawrence’s “Windows,” and works by emerging artists of African descent in The Studio Museum’s “Fictions” series.  The two artists asked probing questions and elicited thoughtful answers from both the children and adults on challenging topics such as gentrification, displacement, and community identification.  As we moved from each work of art, you could hear the continuing conversations among parents and children about the topics discussed.
The tour ended with a terrifically fun art workshop where each of us was encouraged to use a variety of media to create a piece of art to represent something about our own communities.  It was a great opportunity for us all to think and talk and create and laugh together.  The Studio Museum will be closing for a complete rebuild of its facilities starting on January 15, 2018, so we encourage you all to experience this gem of an art museum a short trip uptown from 98th Street.  And the Community Gathering Committee will be hosting more events this year, so look for more announcements soon.
Special thanks to Ben A. and Grace B. for organizing this event.  Many thanks to the Community Gathering Committee, the Parents Association, and The Studio Museum for their warm welcome.