ARTLAB+: Mobile Learning Institute at the Hirshhorn

Digital + Physical

Bringing life to art

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For the third year, The Pearson Foundation has been a major supporter of ARTLAB+, a design studio for teens, hosted through the Mobile Learning Institute at the Smithsonian.

Programs During the Year

The ARTLAB+ offers teens, ages 13-19, the opportunity to design programs for other teens to experience at the Hirshhorn and in the community. ARTLAB+, programs are youth-centered, and interest-driven. Students have access to professionals, museum staff, computers, mobile devices and applications and platforms that help them pursue interests, produce media, and share it with the world.

Art Breakers

Art Breakers is a workshop that prompts students to remix artworks in the Hirshhorn's permanent collection. Teens work individually or in pairs to research and interpret an artwork of their choosing, then use digital media to create an original artwork that appropriates, hacks, or mods the original piece. In the workshop, teens self-direct their learning process and become "experts" on the artist or artwork of their choice. All teens are encouraged to experiment with different media for their final piece including photography, animation, drawing, or even sculpture. Selected works will be accessible to museum visitors via QR codes installed next to the original work. Their work will help teen designers, teen visitors, and general museum-goers successfully connect with art in the Hirshhorn Museum, thereby creating a community of youth art appreciators, inspiring the next group of Art Breakers.

Community ReDesign

Community ReDesign challenges teens to examine their communities with a critical eye, and use the design process to act on their discoveries. Participants debate the definition of “community” and identify “problem locations” - places in their communities that have been neglected or misappropriated. Next, in teams, teens use mobile devices to discover why the sites are in their current condition, and how community members feel about it. Finally, teens use digital tools of their choice, including video, photography, and 3D modeling programs, to create a project that presents a new vision for their site. This workshop presents youth with a real-world problem, professional tools, and the opportunity to engage civically with their communities.



Digital + Physical

Digital + Physical (Spring Break Workshop) Contemporary artists often work in both the digital and the physical realms. In this one-week workshop, teens bring artworks from the Hirshhorn’s collection to life through digital manipulation and performance. Final works will be performed in the museum’s Ring Auditorium. By trying out several types of media, youth learn to communicate through different tools, engage multiple senses, and share their work in a professional setting.



Visual Storytelling

Storytelling is how people express themselves. Teens learning to tell stories help them better understand themselves and their own ideas, ultimately becoming better communicators and creative thinkers. This one-day workshop series introduces teens to the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection and weds traditional and cutting-edge technology to bring artworks to life. As participants explore podcasting, comics, roundware, and more, they learn multiple ways of interpreting their surroundings and creatively expressing themselves. 



What’s Going on Now


In 1971, Marvin Gaye captured the spiritual and cultural chaos of the nation. It’s been 40 years. Have things changed? The ArtLab and the What’s Going on Now campaign invite teens to share their thoughts through images, poetry, video, or  music. They will have opportunities to debate the issues that most affect their lives and work collaboratively to share their vision as youth artists and media producers. In May, teens will share their work with a nation audience at a Kennedy Center concert and at the National Youth Leadership Summit.

Women Represented

Women Represented is a current program that invites teens to decode representations of women in mass media and Art. As a group, participants examine how artists from Donna Karan to Kara Walker consider history, social values, symbolism, and visual formal elements to communicate messages to their audiences. Teens then move from being consumers of these images to producers, as they use digital photography, videography, or animation to respond with their views and share them with the wider world. Smithsonian curators provide guidance on interpretation and guest artists offer critical feedback throughout the design process.

Summer Programs

During the summer, ARTLAB+ offers engaging, innovative five-day programs for teens and educators. Youth and adult participants explore digital media practices in the context of missions, media production, art, and games. Challenge-based workshops are located in the ArtLab, but leverage the museum collections and sculpture garden. 



ARTLAB+ Animation


In this workshop teens will learn both to interpret the concept of change and to present their vision in 2D and 3D. In teams, they will explore the Hirshhorn’s collection; learn to draw and animate their ideas in several different platforms; and make or remix music to complement their animation. Animating artworks in the Hirshhorn’s collection gives teens an opportunity redefine what the artwork and art is, and share their vision with their peers and the general public. In creating an exhibit of their work, youth will make many artistic decisions, choose roles and gain expertise based on their interests, and self-direct their learning.



ARTLAB+ Radio


SounDMV is our in-house streaming audio/video channel on Ustream. For this week-long workshop, teens can create an original radio program about a subject that relates to them and their community and air it for all the world to see. This workshop will include a visit to NPR’s studios to talk with professionals in the field.  Participants will also speak with current SounDMV teen experts to learn how to use the live streaming technology, and function as a team to meet their broadcasting goals.



Digital + Physical


Contemporary artists often work in both the digital and the physical realms. In this one-week workshop, teens bring artworks from the Hirshhorn’s collection to life through digital manipulation and performance. Final works will be performed in the Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium. By trying out several types of media, youth learn to communicate through different tools, engage multiple senses, and share their work in a professional setting.



ARTLAB+ Game Design

We’ve all played games that we enjoy, but what makes a game good?  Is it the challenge?  The motivation?  The style?  The story?  In this workshop, teens will break games apart into system components and rebuild them to create original games.  This could mean anything from making a version of tag that can only be played in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden to an original Flash game based on an existing framework.  Ultimately teens will use digital technology to create a smartphone game that uses GPS technology to offer a creative experence.

Mission Possible: Teaching in the 21st Century


Teacher of the Year Workshop @ the Hirshhorn
 What does learning look like in the 21st century? How can classroom learning integrate 21st century change? Educators collaborate to solve missions while using mobile technologies and digital media. They explore the resources of the Smithsonian and Washington, DC and converse with subject-matter experts to develop plans for incorporating museum resources, mobile technology and digital media into the own 21st century classroom.
 
New Partnerships

Through partnerships with schools and after-school programs, the Hirshhorn aims to be increasingly involved in the DC community as a resource for teens. Beginning in October 2011, the Hirshhorn teamed up with E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and the Richard Wright Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts. The ArtLab offers a course especially created for these partners called Community ReDesign that focuses on architecture and civic engagement. Students get a fast-paced introduction to the key elements of community architecture and design and then, during a multimedia workshop, apply what they have learned. They look at buildings or spaces in their communities that have been run down or neglected, choose one, and redesign it based on local needs, using tools like Photoshop and Google SketchUp. Additional groups of E.L Haynes students will participate in the course during Spring 2012.