Kruger has led many lively, informative and meaningful discussions at both Grover Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda and Chatsworth Charter School in Chatsworth to work on Whose Values?, an engagement with LAUSD Title I high schools to create a series of art, writing, and critical thinking projects.
Kruger, a Los Angeles and New York-based artist known for her large-scale and immersive image, text, and video installations that address provocative social, cultural, and political issues, was selected by the Museum’s Education department as the 2014-2015 Getty Artists Program artist and encouraged to create and implement a project of her choosing, with the freedom to select her audience and develop the focus and format of the project.
Working with staff in the Museum’s Education department and educators from participating schools, Kruger is engaging in small and large-format discussions and activities supporting collaborative art and writing projects connected to the students’ core curricular themes of social justice, identity, race, gender and advocacy. She will continue to meet with the students through March in advance of the final project’s unveiling on May 5, 2015.
The project kicked off November 12, 2014, when Kruger introduced herself and her work to students from Cleveland High School’s Humanities Magnet, the Academy of Art and Technology and Chatsworth High School’s Humanitas Academy of Education and Human Services.
As Kruger stood in front of the large audience at the Cleveland High School introduction, she said it felt like “20 minutes ago” that she was in their shoes, a young woman in Newark, New Jersey, from very humble beginnings. “I never thought anyone would know my name or my work. I never take it for granted.”
Lourdes Jacquez, 17, of Cleveland High School, said she is “blown over” by Kruger’s willingness to work with her and her fellow students. “This is a big deal to give us a voice, to take the time to hear us out. For a young person like me, this really matters.”
Kruger told the students: “What I am encouraging you to do is really explore and visualize what values mean, what justice means, what fear means—because that’s what artists do.”
The Getty Artists Program began in 2010 as an effort to engage artists in the Getty Museum’s education program. One artist is selected each year and given the freedom to select an audience to work with, and to develop the focus and format of their own project. “We want to invite artists to undertake innovative projects in collaboration with our Museum Education staff in order to explore new learning and public engagement opportunities,” said Elizabeth Escamilla, Acting Assistant Director for Museum Education.
Past Getty Artists Program participants include Mark Bradford (2010), Jennifer Steinkamp (2011), John Divola (2012), and Sam Durant (2013).
More information about the Getty Artists Program, as well as summaries of past projects, can be found at: www.getty.edu/education/adult_learners/getty_artists_program.
About Barbara Kruger
Barbara Kruger (American, born 1945) is an artist living in Los Angeles and New York. She attended Syracuse University‘s School of Visual Arts and Parson’s School of Design in New York before working in magazine design and art direction at numerous publications, including Mademoiselle, House and Garden and Aperture. Her work offers evocative statements about power, sexuality, money, life and death.
Kruger’s work has been exhibited internationally at several museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Kruger’s work has also appeared in several public spaces, including billboards, buses, posters, parks, and museum facades. She has taught at California Institute of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and University of California, Berkeley, and is currently a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has been most recently exhibited at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria.
About the Schools
Chatsworth Charter High School’s Humanitas Academy of Education and Human Service is a small learning community that has been developed by expanding the highly successful Humanitas Program that has existed for more than 20 years. The Humanitas Academy helps students gain an understanding of the socioeconomic, psychological and political foundations of society and explore how to use that information to meet human needs through education and human services. Through curriculum concentrated on themes relating to education and human services, students develop their own identities and explore careers in teaching, social work, special needs, psychology, health, counseling and public service.
Established in 1981, Cleveland Humanities Magnet High School is the leading secondary school for the study of the Humanities in Los Angeles, and the model for Humanitas programs across the district. The magnet has a population of over 850 students with a broad range of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. This provides the opportunity to cultivate the development of critical thinkers through an interdisciplinary, thematic, writing-based Humanities curriculum and to foster an environment of social awareness and involvement in order to improve students' lives and their local, national, and global communities. In the 11th grade, in particular, teachers use a Social Justice approach to American Studies. The aim is to question, research, and mutually discover ways to use power creatively and multi-dimensionally in pursing the ideals of Democracy for all members of our society.
The Academy of Art and Technology is a small learning community that is art-centered and focused on a technology-based education. Students participating in the Academy's four-year program are trained in Graphic Design, Web Design and Illustration aspects of the Commercial Art profession. Through its rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, AOAT delivers connected and engaging academic courses that meet all the A-G requirements and provides access to honors sections and Advanced Placement classes. The program also focuses on transferrable skills that are critical for student success during high school and after graduation, including communication skills, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and time management. The goal is to provide students with the academic background and professional tools necessary for success in any endeavor. AOAT instills all students with a love of learning, civic responsibility and the individual confidence to achieve their personal best.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum's mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.
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