This exhibition swells with the magic of a rewarding encounter: 140 students and six artists worked together for twenty weeks over the schoolyear. A selection of their works is on view in the Museum’s Education Room from June 12 through September 16, 2018.
Before the show opens to the public, there will be a fun-filled inauguration for the students, their teachers, the artists, the project sponsors, and various people from the field of education. The exhibition varies every year, as new programs and artworks are proposed. On this occasion, the show is divided into two thematic sections: “Codes,” which brings together creations based on alphabets, signs, and reinterpreted symbols, and “Spaces,” with works that look at how space is occupied and how it can be represented.
Learning Through Art is an educational program designed to support the primary school curriculum using art as a tool. It encourages schoolchildren to talk about art and participate in creative processes, and helps them approach their school subjects in an imaginative, personal way. Looking through the lens of art, these children question what they see, they take apart, break down, and mix up things that are whole, joined, arranged… and rebuild them in their own way, in an original and personal manner, using mediums including photography, painting, sculpture, or performance. Art thus becomes an instrument of exploration and discovery, on a voyage that demands attention, thought, creativity, communication, and collaboration. After teachers set the objectives they want to reach and the skills and attitudes they want to strengthen, the artists and the Museum educators design a set of ideas and activities into teaching units. Each project is unique and tailored specifically to develop the skills and interests of each individual group.
Learning Through Art, an educational program of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, was founded in 1970 thanks to the support of Natalie K. Lieberman, who had witnessed the elimination of art programs from New York City public schools. During these close to fifty years, over 100,000 New York City public schoolchildren have participated in this initiative.
The first Learning Through Art exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was held in 1998. Convinced of the great educational value of this program, we wanted to bring it over and adapt it to our community. During these twenty years, we have had wonderful experiences, enriching interactions, travelled many roads, asked and answered an infinite number of questions, with surprises always part of the process and fun inaugurations that have filled the Museum with music and laughter. The dedication of many teachers who enthusiastically joined the adventure to explore new avenues and flung open the doors of their classrooms to our artists has been especially rewarding.