The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Art and Young People

Anyone interested in museums and their relevance for young people? I just want to promote the new section of The Danish National Gallery (where I happen to work). After many months of collaboration with 60 Art Pilots (young people between 12-20 yr.), the Art Labs for young people opened in May this year. Working from a constructivist learning perspective and with every intention of taking young people’s experience and interest in art seriously, the team behind the labs has managed to develop a dynamic and progressive area of the museum, where young people can explore art.
The labs consist of a working gallery space, where art from the permanent collection is displayed along side plans and schedules for coming installations and individual comments made by the participating visitors. Everyone is welcome to join in. The galleries have a real atmosphere of ongoing work and highlight the processes behind museum practice. Connected to the galleries are a series of workshop rooms where the newest media facilities are on hand. These are always open to investigate, but participation must be booked and are available for schools as well independent young people. During weekends and Wednesday nights there are workshops, electronic music, art tours by young people etc. All based on the idea that young people communicate with each other focussing on their special interests. Many of the art pilots who helped develop the project are now working there in their spare time, introducing other young people to the labs and organizing events and workshops.
As any new facility the art labs have also an exciting online face. The address is http://ungeslaboratorierforkunst.dk/index.asp?key=1 Here is web 2.0 tried out with interaction, debate, tagging and everything.
I know I am properly biased - even though I have had noting to do with the development of the labs, but I am really exciting to see something for young people and art actually working. Of course there are things that could be improved (fx. The English version of the web site (o; ) There are so much potential to raise difficult issues such as identity, sex, politics etc though art and it is frustrating to see the whole group of young people passing it by thinking it is not for them. Well just a bit of optimism here on a rainy day in Copenhagen.

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