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by Caroline Cole


   Though few children would beg to wile away an afternoon studying Tibetan painting, the new exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art proves that children, teens, and families can connect with and experience Himalayan art.  For almost four years, educators at the Rubin Museum have partnered with Liberty High School for Newcomers, an English-as-Second-Language school in Chelsea, to teach the students to engage with, respond to, and even create Himalayan art. Now, the creative accomplishments of these students are being displayed in A Sense of Place: Teens Respond to Himalayan Art. 

   The exhibit features collaborative work on behalf of several groups of students, as well as individual interpretations of specific details in a particular work.  Students also wrote poems inspired by the Himalayan art, and can be heard reading their work on the audio guide.
   The exhibit displays work from teens of all backgrounds, including Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Through their work with the RMA educators, the teens were able to forge connections between their homelands, the Himalayas and New York City. For example, one student compared the mountains in a painting to those of his home country, Yemen. In a diverse, often chaotic world, these students were attracted to the peace and tranquility of the art, tranquility reflected in the gallery itself with its large open spaces and soothing lighting. Students also related to the religious aspects that can be found throughout Himalayan art. 
   On August 4, and running through September 18, the exhibit switches to A Sense of Place: Students and Families Respond to Himalayan Art. For kids, this exhibit, focusing on landscapes, is an opportunity to see children their age creating art which ends up on the walls of a museum!  It’s the result of a five-month collaboration between Rubin educators and third- and sixth-grade students at P.S. 134, The Henrietta Szold School downtown.
   Adults and kids alike will enjoy and respond to the bright colors, thoughtful students, and beautiful art now on display at the Rubin Museum.

Where: ‘A Sense of Place’ is installed on the lower level of the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th St., at Seventh Avenue.

When: The Museum opens at 11am, and closes at 5pm on Mondays and Thursdays; at 7pm on Wednesdays; at 10pm on Fridays; and at 6pm on weekends. Closed on Tuesday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

How much: $10 adults; $7 students, seniors, artists, and neighbors (zip codes 10001 and 10011); free for members and children under 12; free on Fridays, 7-10pm.

For more info: 212-620-5000; www.rmanyc.org

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