The first stop of our tour was Kara Walker’s piece, “Gone”. The tour guide helped the fathers observe the art from a critical perspective by asking questions about the piece’s historical commentary and the interactions between the figures in the composition. The fathers were able to interpret the art as a piece focused on race, slavery, sexuality, and class. The second stop was the exhibit of Cai Guo-Qiang. His work was titled “Borrowing Your Enemy’s Arrows”. The fathers learned about the artist’s reenactment of an historic war through art, and the tour guide highlighted the artist’s intent to celebrate a battle strategy used by one side of the war. As the tour progressed, the fathers saw the works of other famed artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Rineke Dijkstra.
The experience continued the next day in the UPNEXT classroom. The fathers collaborated with the educator on expressive art project. The group explored the expression of thoughts and feelings through sound, using poetry, drawings, rap lyrics, and recordings to contribute to a piece begun by previous UPNEXT participants.
The fathers appreciated both the tour and art making session for opening their minds to different cultures and providing them an avenue to express themselves. Each participant was provided a family pass to MoMA, so that they will be able to continue this exploration of art and culture with their children.