Youth Space

Youth Space at Athenaeum (YSA) offers internships for youth aged 14 to 19 from the Athens, GA, area to develop the gallery’s inaugural youth-led public programming. Exploring various material and conceptual approaches to art, design, and social practice, research, artistic production, curation, writing, and printed matter, participants lead and plan sessions, host field trips and spatial interventions, facilitate public engagement and intergenerational dialogue, curate and host events, and develop frameworks for future programming at Athenaeum. 

YSA is facilitated weekly by Lisa Novak (Doctoral Candidate in Art Education + Founder, School of Collaboration and Invention) at the gallery, and all youth are compensated for their participation at the conclusion of each project.
Current Youth Space Participants:

Samirah Burrell
Katia Bliss Dowd
Sam Goldberg
Ana Mowrer
Amberly Hutchens
Addy Root
Ella Ruder
Sophia Ward

Current Project: YSA Community Art Garden

Currently titled the Youth Space Community Art Garden, this community-oriented gardening project and living laboratory for youth-led arts programming, explores the intersections of art, sustainability, ecology, and urban gardening. The project is being developed by the current Youth Space cohort, who are in the process of transforming a section behind the Athenaeum into a small community garden and outdoor event and exhibition space. Facilitated by Lisa Novak, and with support of the gallery director Dr. Katie Geha, the Youth Space team will host a series of public engagements, including artist picnics, performances, and garden-related workshops to our surrounding community, showcasing the transdisciplinary possibilities found across social practice and the arts.

The primary goal of the Youth Space Community Art Garden is to create an emergent public space where people can linger, and where local youth come to collaborate on socially engaged projects, as well as provide free herbs, leafy greens, a small assortment of vegetables, and wildflowers to the surrounding community. Importantly, the space will challenge youth to manage and host workshops, take good care of a larger-scale public art project, and to build long-term relationships with our immediate neighbors and an intersectional community beyond the boundaries of the university.

Youth Space at Athenaeum is funded by the Willson Center Public Impact Grant (2021/2022).

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Contemporary Art Studio (CAS) — an After School Program

CAS is a free after-school program for pre/teen students from local middle schools. The first run of the program was hosted in Spring 2022 and included participants from four different middle schools in the Athens area. The Athenaeum aims to host new iterations of the program every spring semester, with the program centering on the work exhibited in the gallery.
CAS is led by faculty and students in UGA’s Art Education program. Preservice teachers (undergraduate students who are preparing to become certified art teachers) enrolled in ARED 4060S: Art Education in School, Museum, and Community are mentored by faculty and graduate students to develop the program content and serve as the lead instructors for the 10-week program.
In Spring 2022, the program focused on sound and video art in connection with artist Lisa Tan’s installation of Dodge and Burn 2017 - 2020 July 4 in the gallery. Preservice teachers had an opportunity to meet with Lisa Tan and share in dialogue around the work, brainstorming possibilities for using the work as a catalyst for art making with middle school participants.
For the duration of the program, UGA students and middle school participants explored experiential and artistic concepts developed in Tan’s work—concepts such as failure, surprise, juxtaposition, multi-sensory experience, and more. Participants engaged in emergent inquiry of these concepts by experimenting with video, sound, narrative, and embodied art practices. Ultimately, the participants created their own works of video and sound art that showcased their unique interests and identities and shared these works in a celebratory film screening during the final session of the program. Beyond these art-focused aspects of the program, there were snacks, games, and outdoor explorations, and loads of fun was had by all!
Be on the lookout this fall for information about the Spring 2023 CAS!
The 2022 CAS After School Program was supported by a 2021-2022 Willson Center Public Impact Grant