Step into the Chandler Gallery, and you will see the future. Not only is “The Future” the theme of the current show, but the exhibition is curated entirely by elementary school students from Agassiz Baldwin Community’s afterschool program—children who represent the world’s future artists, curators and gallery-owners.
This project-based learning activity is a unique opportunity for children to experience the gallery process. “Children know that they can take their artwork home and show it to their parents,” says Early Education Site Director Kim Baldasaro. “But they learn that they could also share their artwork with other people in a gallery.” Children plan the exhibition from start to finish: they choose a theme, they work in teams to collaborate on 2D and 3D pieces, and they install the show in the gallery. Agassiz Baldwin Afterschool also invites students from other afterschool programs to create artwork for the exhibition. Baldasaro’s favorite part of the process is watching the projects evolve as the children brainstorm one idea, begin to develop it, and then change their minds and take the artwork in a new direction.
During the two-month assignment, students also gain experience executing a long-term project. They learn how to plan ahead, gather supplies, and work together to accomplish a task. In the end, they take great pride in their work and the work of their collaborators. Baldasaro loves to see “how happy kids are when they bring their parents to the show. They point to their project and say ‘That’s mine!’”
“The Kid-Curated Art Show: The Future” is at the Chandler Gallery at 20 Sacramento Street in Cambridge from May 30-June 28. The opening reception will be held at 5:45 p.m. on June 12. Agassiz Baldwin Community is a private, non-profit organization with a forty-year history of quality programs and services in the Cambridge community.