May 24, 1999

On Monday June 7, from 5:00-7:30 p.m., Dia Center for the Arts will host the participants in its Arts Education Program for the 1998/99 student exhibition. The exhibition will be on view on the second floor of the Dia's 548 West 22nd Street location. This will be the second exhibition featuring artwork by New York City junior high students from schools affiliated with Dia's Arts Education Program.

Dia's Arts Education Program is unique among museum education programs in that it works most directly with teachers. There are currently eight teachers from five junior high schools participating in the Dia's Art Education Program. The teachers specialize in diverse subjects such as Latin, Spanish, English, Earth Science, and Art. After having integrated material from the Arts Education Program into their classes, the teachers may reach 100 students in the course of a day. The participating schools, most from the Chelsea neighborhood, are Booker T. Washington, New York City Lab School, Manhattan Country School, Clinton School, and the O. Henry Learning Center.

The teachers participate in approximately ten workshops with artists, writers, poets, philosophers and art educators during the course of the school year. The 1998-99 workshop speakers included, among others, video artist Kristin Lucas, poet Joan Retallack, philosopher Marcia Morgan, and artist Arturo Herrera. After several months of workshops the teachers bring their respective classes to visit the exhibitions at Dia, often returning for repeat visits. The teachers then propose projects for their classes based upon information from the workshops, the experience of the student visits, and their class subject matter.

Dia Education Coordinator Craig Drennen helps select an appropriate teaching artist to visit the classrooms, based upon the project proposals. The teaching artists make several classroom visits to instruct, advise and encourage the students in the completion of their artwork. Past projects have included mixed-media sculpture, murals, artist books, painting, collage, and video art. The artwork in the 1998-99 student exhibition will be a result of this unique educational process.

The Dia Arts Education Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the institution has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and contemporary culture. In fulfilling this commitment, Dia sustains diverse programming in visual arts, poetry, arts education, and critical discourse and debate.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518

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