The Nasher Teen program brought Durham high school students together monthly to talk about works of art and contemporary social issues related to the Nasher Museum’s collection. The program connected high school students with artists and museum professionals, and provided opportunities for the students to work on collaborative projects with each other and the Durham community.
Last April our Nasher Teens took part in a rigorous training program to become art guides for Odili Donald Odita’s wall paintings at the museum and at the downtown Durham YMCA. They created their own resource booklet about Odita and his process and studied public speaking and techniques for facilitating conversations with museum visitors. The teens painted their own mural inspired by Odita’s installations and interviewed him over ice cream to learn more about the life of a professional artist. To celebrate Nasher10, the museum’s first decade and beyond, Nasher Teens hosted a nine-week Instagram Photo Challenge to encourage people to find inspiration in the Durham community. They selected the winning photos and installed them at Nasher10 Unplugged, a downtown Durham block party across from the YMCA on October 10.
Looking ahead, the museum will design a new series for teens to explore the collection and respond creatively through making art, music and movement; and a teens-only event designed by teens and for teens in June.
“The Nasher Teens program has taught me a lot─Odili Odita’s work, public speaking, how museums look behind the scenes, the best kinds of donuts─and overall been an eye-opening experience about the art world.”
─Mara Lowry, senior at Durham School of the Arts