Exhibitions showcase works by students participating in 2004-2005 school year program

Apr 10, 2005

Beacon, New YorkThis summer the Arts Education Program at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, Dia Art Foundation’s acclaimed museum in New York’s Hudson Valley, celebrates its fourth year with an exhibition and screening of work by students participating in the program. During the 2004-2005 school year students from Beacon’s Forrestal, Glenham, Sargent, and South Avenue Elementary Schools; Rombout Middle School; and Beacon High School have visited, explored, and learned about the art on view at Dia:Beacon with their classroom teachers, art teachers, and visiting artists. Through the program students develop their skills of observation, self-expression, and research, creating their own works in response to Dia’s collection. The curriculum culminates in May with the public display of the students’ art.

For the 2004-2005 Arts Education Program (AEP), second-grade classes in Beacon’s elementary schools participated in a six-week session. Focused on the idea of looking at art as a "window" or a "mirror," the students visited the museum and discussed selected installations, recording their observations with drawings and within journals. The students then participated in hands-on art making workshops, further developing techniques for looking at and thinking about visual art. The resulting artworks created by the students will be presented at the Howland Cultural Center, a community cultural center located at 477 Main Street in Beacon May 26-29. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 26 from 5 to 7 pm.

Two sixth-grade writing classes at Rombout Middle School explored Dia’s collection through the language arts. Focusing on the large-scale sculpture works of Richard Serra and Robert Smithson students investigated the relationship between contemporary artworks and ancient monuments by studying classical mythology and considering the possible literary interpretations of some of the "monumental" works at Dia:Beacon. For their final project, the students designed their own for the city of Beacon, creating a brochure and map that locates their proposed monument designs within the city. Their work will be presented during the opening reception for the elementary program at the Howland Cultural Center on Thursday, May 26.

As part of the 2005 high school program, students in grades 9 through 12 at Beacon High School participated in a collaborative video project. After two intensive tours led by Dia’s education department students made four production visits to the museum. Working with a visiting video artist the students conceived, shot, and produced a video exploring their physical responses to Dia’s collection. Using the school’s television studio facilities and working with the school’s video instructor and art teacher the students learned the fundamentals of video production and editing, creating a seven-minute video with an original soundtrack. There will be a public screening and reception for this collaborative project on Saturday, May 14 from 3 to 5 pm at the Howland Cultural Center at 477 Main Street in Beacon.

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 one. Launched in 2001 as a long-term collaboration between Dia and the Beacon city schools, the program makes Dia’s collection and the museum 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 is currently partnering with the "I SEE" Center in Beacon and the Children’s Media Project in Poughkeepsie who will meet with the school groups enrolled in this program before and after each visit to the museum, developing in-class activities building on the museum visits. An internship program with Vassar College and Marist Colleges in Poughkeepsie and with 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 education resources and their experiences in working with students and contemporary art. Launching summer 2005 is a special program for urban youth attending the University Settlement Camp in Beacon.

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, and Community Free Days for neighboring counties.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Dia presents its permanent collection at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York; exhibitions and public programming at Dia:Chelsea, in New York City (currently closed for renovations); and 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, or 212 293 5518

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