inHarlem in Motion

An exciting new chapter in the Studio Museum’s nearly fifty-year history of dynamic arts programming, inHarlem is an expanded way of thinking about the Museum’s relationship to its surrounding community.

Announcing inHarlem

On June 24, the New York Times broke the news of the Studio Museum's new set of initiatives designed to explore dynamic ways to work in the community and take the institution beyond its walls: inHarlem.  inHarlem encompasses a wide range of artistic and programmatic ventures, from site-specific artists’ projects to collaborative presentations with civic and cultural partners in the Harlem neighborhood.

Introducing Sable Smith

Meet our New Education Assistant!

  • Sable Smith

My name is Sable Elyse Smith, and I am the new Education Assistant here at The Studio Museum in Harlem. I am originally from Los Angeles, which is one of many reasons why I'm so passionate about education and access—when I was in high school, my access to arts education became increasingly nonexistent, and I decided to commit myself in some way to arts education.  My path has been long—the abridged version is that I studied painting and filmmaking at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, and recently completed my MFA in Design & Technology at Parsons: The New School for Design, where I am currently part-time faculty.

Printmaking with Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School

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  • Elan Ferguson working with students at Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School on a printmaking project

  • Ink and brayers (rollers) on a palette for making monoprints

  • A student works to carve a negative with which to print

  • Rolling out the ink for making prints

  • Putting on finishing touches

  • Checking out the final product!

I had the pleasure of accompanying our Family Programs Coordinator and teaching artist Elan Ferguson during a visit to Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School in Harlem, one of the Museum's multi-session school partnerships. Elan worked with Ms. Siobhan Gordon’s 2nd grade classroom this fall. Elan’s curriculum supports early stages of visual literacy, highlights an artist of the month chosen by the school and introduces artists exhibited by or in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum. In addition, Elan conducts visual inquiries and uses creative writing and journaling activities to keep track of ideas and vocabulary.

Who is Mimi Plange?

Curatorial Fellow Monique Long highlights Harlem-based designer Mimi Plange

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  • A vision board from Mimi Plange’s studio for her Spring 2012 collection. She was particularly inspired by the Herero women of Namibia.

  • A look from the Mimi Plange 2012 collection

  • Another interpretation of her Herero women inspiration

  • Samples from Plange’s collaboration with shoe designer Manolo Blahnik.

  • Plange’s approach to her 2013 Fall/Winter collection references her training as an architect.

  • A look from Plange's Fall/Winter 2013 collection

  • A look from Plange's Fall/Winter 2013 collection

  • In her studio, Plange surrounds herself with inspiration. The wall paper in her studio is a Victorian pattern.

  • Plange uses an Italian embroidery technique called trapunto to interpret scarification, a traditional body adornment practiced in regions of West Africa where the skin is etched into decorative patterns.

    Image: Head of a Figure.  Ife.  11th-12th century.  Terracotta.  6 ¼ inch high.

  • Plange’s signature trapunto incorporated into a leather shift.

Mimi Plange was born in Ghana and grew up in California. As someone who has always been interested in fashion, her mother and her uncle were her earliest influences. Her uncle, an architect, indoctrinated her with his love of art and music which, in turn, ignited her own creativity. Plange learned to play the flute, but understood early in life that she would design clothes. Before attending Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California, she obtained a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Her favorite visual artists include Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, and Nandipha Mntambo.

In Conversation

Jocelyn Cooper of AFROPUNK

  • Jocelyn Cooper

Jocelyn Cooper, a music industry veteran who has worked with such artists as Beyoncé and Sean Garrett, collaborates with Matthew Morgan (former music manager of Santigold), to run AFROPUNK. Showcasing black musicians making alternative, experimental and underground music and hosting numerous events throughout the year, the production company throws the acclaimed AFROPUNK FEST every summer in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY. On August 24 and 25, it held its ninth installment, featuring such celebrated acts as Grammy winners Living Colour, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and the seminal Detroit proto-punk band Death, as well as a diverse group of emerging performers such as Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco and The Skins.

Summer Internship Reflections

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  • Dyeemah Simmons, Summer 2013 Education ARTSintern (through Studio in a School)

  • Asha Whale, Summer 2013 Education Intern

  • Justin Allen, Summer 2013 Public Programs and Community Engagement Intern

On August 14, Erin Hylton, School Programs Coordinator, sat down with three college interns at the end of their summer internships in the programming departments of Community Engagement and Public Programs and Education, to reflect and share their experience at the Studio Museum with each other.

Justin Allen, the summer 2013 intern in The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Public Programs and Community Engagement department, is a rising senior and poetry major at the New School's Eugene Lang College. Harlemite Dyeemah Simmons studies Studio Art and English at Oberlin College, and this summer, she was an Education Department intern through Studio in a School's ARTSIntern program. Asha Whale, a Brooklyn native, came to intern at came to intern at the Studio Museum through the Jeanette K. Watson Fellowship; she is a History major at the City College of New York.

Uptown Fridays

DJ Shaun J. Wright and Host Ricky Jones Interpret Things in Themselves

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Uptown Fridays is a series of summer parties that place its attendees in direct dialogue with the artwork in the Museum. Each program this summer is named after a current exhibition. The first party of the season, thrown on July 26, was titled Things in Themselves, after the 2012–13 artists in residence exhibition featuring the work of Steffani Jemison, Jennifer Packer and Cullen Washington Jr.

Ricky Jones (left) and DJ Shaun J. Wright (right). Photo: Edwin Ramoran

Expanding the Walls Alumni in Conversation

Senechut Floyd (ETW 2011) and Ivan Forde (ETW 2008)

Reflections on a School Partnership

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  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

  • Photo: Erin Hylton

Students at the Children’s Storefront School, an independent, tuition-free school in Harlem, are exploring the many applications of photography this semester. The Studio Museum in Harlem’s ongoing exhibitions serve as the starting point for our inquiries. After looking closely and discussing works on display, the students develop their own images in response. Beginning with portrait photography, students learn to compose a strong image that visually communicates some aspect of their own identity or those of their subjects. Their first portraits were straightforward and candid. The images they made for the second portrait evolved into imaginative expressions of their creative selves.