Expanding the Walls: Making Connections Between Photography, History and Community is an annual, eight-month residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem in which New York–area high school students explore the history and techniques of photography. Through workshops, gallery visits, intensive darkroom training, and discussions led by contemporary artists, the students build community as they explore and define their individual practices. The James VanDerZee (1886–1983) archive—housed at the Studio Museum—has been the primary catalyst for the students' critical reflections on the representation of culture and community. The Expanding the Walls program and exhibition continue to be impassioned considerations of VanDerZee's timeless themes and testaments to the Studio Museum's commitment to emerging artists.
Developing Intention: Expanding the Walls 2018 presents work by the fourteen young artists in the 2017–18 program and demonstrates their shared interest in experimenting with storytelling and the technical possibilities of photography. Developing Intention presents the culmination of their efforts to capture what they find to be significant in their daily surroundings. In this exhibition, many of the students emphasize the multiple narratives that can be conveyed through portraiture and the exploration of the human figure.
Developing Intention: Expanding the Walls 2018 is organized by Charmaine Branch and Nectar Knuckles, Joint Curatorial Fellows at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art, with Ginny Huo, Expanding the Walls/Youth Programs Coordinator, and the 2017–18 Expanding the Walls students.
Developing Intention: Expanding the Walls 2018 is on view in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enter through the street-level entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street.
The Studio Museum in Harlem would like to thank The Metropolitan Museum of Art for generously hosting this exhibition in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education while the Studio Museum’s galleries are closed in preparation for construction of its new building.
Expanding the Walls is made possible with support from The New York Community Trust; Conscious Kids; Susan and Thomas Dunn; New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Joy of Giving Something; Colgate-Palmolive; The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation; and Clifford Chance US LLP. Additional support for The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Education programs is provided by the Gray Foundation; Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; Con Edison; and the Hearst Endowment Fund. The Studio Museum also thanks the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Studio Museum in Harlem is deeply grateful for Donna Mussenden VanDerZee’s continued support of Expanding the Walls.