One of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey’s flagship programs is the Arts Alive Initiative created in partnership with Elizabeth Public Schools. Since 2009, the Arts Alive Initiative has brought 300 students per year from Jefferson Arts Academy to the Art Center for an in-depth sequential learning program that expands their knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. The students visit for three consecutive weeks during each exhibition season and create art projects that apply ideas and themes from the Art Center’s exhibitions.
Inspired by the last round of exhibitions, the students learned about and responded to our recent color-themed shows. Students were presented the challenge of creating a piece that showed data visualization through color. Some student chose to represent something that interested them, such as sales or sports statistics, while others chose to make the data visualization more personal, such as the colors on the walls of their bedrooms in all of the homes they have lived in.
Upon completion of the program, the students present their work for critique by Curator Mary Birmingham, who then selects a number of pieces for display in an exhibition of their work at the Art Center. This initiative supports the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual Arts.