RE:FORM SCHOOL Lessons for the MediaLab Team

2016

Story by Jemima Osea-Asante
Photographed by Ihor Hrynivetskiy and Eduardo Luna
The MediaLab Crew visits the RE:FORM SCHOOL Exhibit.
The MediaLab crew visits the RE:FORM SCHOOL exhibit.
The MediaLab Crew Visits the RE:FORM SCHOOL Exhibit
The MediaLab Crew visits the RE:FORM SCHOOL Exhibit.
When it comes to my early art and education experiences I don’t remember doing much besides making Thanksgiving turkeys with finger-paint in 2nd grade. The RE:FORM SCHOOL exhibit held on Saturday, October 9 just might change that for public school kids.
The group exhibit took place inside the recently closed St. Patrick’s School in SoHo and featured music, art classes and artworks designed to motivate public energy toward true education reform.
Jemima Osea-Asante interviews event producer Yosi Sergent.
Jemima Osea-Asante interviews event producer Yosi Sergent.
Here I am interviewing event producer Yosi Sergent.
Producers Yosi Sergent and Apple Via shared their inspirations and goals for the exhibit with me. “We are hoping to bring awareness to problems in the public education system through artworks that evoke emotion and inspire viewers to look at things from a different perspective,” Sergent said. “Artists have a way of making a conversation have motion.” A second goal was for artists to lead the argument for arts education in schools. Via, the daughter of artist parents with a three-year-old son of her own, stressed: “It’s our duty as parents to be active participants and to make sure our children have strong cultural influences in the public education system.”
UAP Teaching Artist Monique Schubert leads a workshop on mobile-making.
UAP Teaching Artist Monique Schubert leads a workshop on mobile-making.
My MediaLab colleagues and I also got the chance to attend a workshop led by Urban Arts Teaching Artist Monique Schubert.  Ms. Schubert taught us how to build mobiles, which are like floating art in motion.  It turns out that the creator of this art form, Alexander Calder, was not only an artist but a mechanical engineer who made mobiles with the help of math. In order for a mobile to be successful, it must balance out, and math is always involved when things need to be balanced.  When I used math to balance the different components of my mobile, I understood why this workshop had been integrated into an event designed to bring art and education together.  Clearly, the RE:FORM SCHOOL exhibit was well thought-out.
Best of all, the event was enjoyable for people of all ages.
MediaLab student Joshua Davis passes on the knowledge.
MediaLab student Joshua Davis passes on the knowledge, teaching this inventive kid how to make a mobile.
One of the kids in our workshop requested colored tape to decorate his mobile. We had only been told to tape cut-outs to the wires, but this imaginative four-year-old came up with the idea of using the tape itself as a decoration.  This moment made me think about how important it is to bring art to children at a young age–little kids really are the most creative and inventive.
I wish there had been more art programs when I was growing up.  Who knows how creative I might have been if I had had more exposure to the arts than just finger-painting?
Jemima Osea-Asante writes down her thoughts
Writing down some final thoughts . . . 
How about you?  If you weren’t able to attend the RE:FORM SCHOOL exhibit, I hope this blog has inspired you.  Do something today to support arts and education.  Help our little brothers and sisters explore their creative sides!