New education room increases facilities for museum’s expanding Art Education Program

Oct 03, 2005

Beacon, New York— This October Dia Art Foundation inaugurates a new education Learning Lab at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, the acclaimed contemporary art museum in New York’s Hudson Valley. Dia’s Arts Education Program (AEP) has grown in scope significantly since it was launched in 2001, and the Learning Lab allows Dia to expand the program’s on-site activities. Designed to meet the expanding needs of the AEP, the Lab offers additional resources to the students, teachers, and visiting artists involved in Dia’s education program as well as to the museum’s visitors and the broader community. Dia and the City of Beacon will celebrate the inauguration of this new community resource with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the museum on Friday, October 21, 2005 at 3pm. A reception will follow the ceremony.

Essential to the mission of Dia’s education programs are student visits to the museum to observe and discuss experiences of the artworks. The Learning Lab will enrich these on-site visits by providing a space for further discussion, activities, and critical explorations of the works on view. The Learning Lab’s facilities include computer workstations, large tables to accommodate discussions and art making projects, a sink for preparation and clean up, extensive storage cabinets for supplies, an area for the hanging of student artwork, and equipment for the screening of films and videos. Computer workstations will be used for a variety of new-media workshops and projects, including an ongoing video collaboration with Beacon High School in which students create and edit digital videos relating to the collection. High-speed internet access will aid the students in their research into the topics explored through the curriculum and will allow for the exploration of Dia’s “Artists Projects for the Web” (visit www.diaart.org for more information about these web projects).

In addition to providing students, teachers, and visiting artists a place to meet for workshops and discussion, the Learning Lab will be used for docent training and professional development sessions, lecture and discussion programs related to Dia’s collection, and by tour groups and other special programs at the museum. This new resource will also be available to the wider community as a meeting space for local cultural and civic organizations.

The Learning Lab at Dia:Beacon is made possible through the generosity of Louise Riggio, the Dyson Foundation, Karan-Weiss Foundation, Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Dia:Beacon Arts Education Program
Dia’s Arts Education Program offers students in the Beacon city school district a supplementary arts curriculum providing opportunities for in-depth, structured explorations at three specific points in each student’s education—in elementary, middle, and high school -- with each level building on the previous experience. Launched in 2001 as a long-term collaboration between Dia and the Beacon city schools, the program extends the reach of Dia’s collection and the museum as a resource for area students and their teachers and families.

Since its inception, the AEP has expanded beyond the City of Beacon School initiatives to encompass all levels of education, partnerships with local cultural and educational organizations, a series of professional development workshops, and the implementation of an education resource website. Dia partners with local cultural institutions, including the “I SEE” Center in Beacon and the Children’s Media Project in Poughkeepsie, on outreach programs which engage visiting artists to create pre- and post-museum visit classroom sessions, and develop in-class activities building on museum visits. An internship program with Vassar and Marist Colleges in Poughkeepsie, and the State University of New York in New Paltz, provides students with an extensive knowledge of the artworks on view at Dia:Beacon, training them to lead tours for school groups visiting the museum. For the Professional Development Series at Dia:Beacon, teachers from all areas and all levels of schooling are invited to attend talks and workshops on the artists in Dia’s collection and to share educational resources and their experiences in working with students and contemporary art. In summer 2005 Dia launched a special program for urban youth attending the University Settlement Camp in Beacon.

The Arts Education Program at Dia:Beacon is made possible through the generosity of Louise Riggio, the Dyson Foundation, Karan-Weiss Foundation, Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
Dia:Beacon, Dia Art Foundation’s museum in the Hudson Valley, presents a distinguished collection of contemporary art from the 1960s to the present. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility, which was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice.

Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light. The museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.

Programming at the museum includes a series of year-long temporary exhibitions as well as public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions, including monthly Gallery Talks, music performances by St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Readings in Contemporary Literature, Community Free Days for neighboring counties and an education program that serves area students at all education levels.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia is internationally renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia presents public programs and its permanent collection of works from the 1960s through the present at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York, within a 300,000 square-foot former printing facility on the Hudson River. Dia plans to relocate its acclaimed contemporary exhibition program in New York City to the future entrance to the High Line park in Lower Manhattan. The Foundation also maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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