Each year, Artspace brings 15-18 New Haven high school students into its galleries for three weeks to work as apprentices with a Master Artist. This year’s project, The Mobile Museum of American Artifacts, is an evolving collection of personal objects and their histories. Housed in a trailer that is traveling across the country, and in New Haven in July 2014, the museum invites people to share meaningful personal objects and the stories behind them. The team students are being apprenticed to artist Laurelin Kruse and together, they are inviting New Haven citizens to contribute to the Museum by sharing a story or loaning an object. Kruse and the apprentices will record, catalog and archive local histories and create an exhibition of a selection of objects inside the Mobile Museum and the galleries of Artspace.
Since its inception in 2001, Artspace’s Summer Apprenticeship Program has given over 200 New Haven Public High School students–many with very little exposure to the arts– the opportunity to work on their very own gallery show, learn about contemporary studio art practices, and build self-esteem while making a project relevant to their own lives. This summer program has twice been nominated for a Presidential Coming Up Taller award and the projects have been featured in the New York Times, local TV stations, the New Haven Register, and Art New England.
Araziel O. Jackson