Thursday, November 22, 2012

#iTOMB and NEST+m: New York's Premier K-12 Public School for gifted and Talented Students

iTOMB - NEST+m, Anon 10.27.12
"Amor et reverentia pro scientia (love and respect for knowledge): It is our hope that every student works and lives by these words. - NEST+m is a New York City Department of Education city-wide coeducational school for Gifted & Talented students, grades K to 12. We offer an academically challenging curriculum designed to produce young scholars who are distinguished by their intellectual capabilities, communication skills, capacity for leadership, ethical values, and readiness to contribute to the betterment of the world at large. We are the only public Gifted & Talented school in New York City in which students can move seamlessly from kindergarten through 12th grade - NEST+m is committed to providing not just an outstanding academic education for all our students, but to creating programs that support their growth as scholars, artists, and citizens of the world. We aim to teach outstanding communication skills, whether through one of the five world languages that we offer, the required computer courses, our workshop model of reading and writing, or an expanded vocabulary in physics."

And so reads the website of NEST+m. On October 27th, #iTOMB was pleased to be a guest at the school bringing inspiration, freedom of thought and a boatload of cardboard and paint for student expression. As one iTOMB painter said, "There are fewer and fewer opportunities for random self expression" - and so I continue to believe that that's what makes the #iTOMB Interactivist experience continue to work - to provide an open opportunity, an open book, the breathing room to exhale with a brush and inhale with the spirit of new experience.

I look forward to more schools in the future. If you're in education and would like to know more about school programs, shoot me a mail. And enjoy the fine work below.

Friday, November 16, 2012

#iTOMB: The Little "Gates"?

#iTOMB.Jackie (9) 09.22.12

My apologies the last few weeks all. Things became hurricane based for a week with no power and the High Line closed and they have been slow to return. Our collection of small paintings continues to grow and is now nearing 1000. Who knew? As thankful as I am to all the painters out there, I am more thankful to you for just making me feel like a king on a daily basis. Often I have said, that never have I had a job where people thank me for what I'm doing all day. My days at #iTOMB are truly gratifying because of all of your spirits.

A few days ago, while I was packing up, a woman named Britte (pronounced BriTa) approached, quite deliberately and said, with a great smile, "I cant WAIT, to see what you do with all these paintings!" Returning the smile I acknowledged and then admitted to her that I didn't quite know what to do with them. Galleries are for selling art, and museums seem almost overwhelmed with submissions as is the High Line Art staff who seem not to see what we're doing every day in the shadow of an El Anatsui installation that is indeed captivating but certainly no more captivating by the quality, diversity and style that #iTOMB painters are pulling off every day. Devoid of pretension, not for sale and ever evolving, the #iTOMB cannon continues to amaze and impress even the most jaded of New York art patrons. And it certainly has impressed Britte.

Christo: The Gates
You know, she said to me, "It recalls to me The Gates", a massive art installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Central Park in 2005. And taken aback, I said, "What? How? Why?", fully well understanding the cost, effort, time and stature of Christo's work in New York not so many years ago. "It's about the experience", she said. "Have you noticed the joy with which people take in your work, this experience, this participation, this art? It's the same as people wondered and wandered through the gates", like it was something that wasn't supposed to be there but is anyway - so it is partaken as a gift. I smiled and told her I knew it was an extremely large compliment, because it was. So first, a comparison to Paul Klee and now this. And I realize we are all creating something - something together. And where it goes, nobody knows. I think that's very fair. Very fair and reasonable - an interactivist experience.