Prep Students Expand Their Creativity and Career Options Through Sotheby’s Art Academy

Rising tenth through twelfth graders explored the art world this summer through the Prep for Prep/Sotheby’s Art Academy (SAA). For five weeks, students learned about art history, engaged with artists and curators, visited museums and galleries, and were introduced to careers in the arts. 
Now in its seventh year, SAA was conceived by members of the Prep in Arts alumni affinity group and is underwritten by Sotheby’s. The program gives Prep students access to art sectors in which people of color have historically been underrepresented. They learn about the various aspects of the art world and pathways to leadership roles. 

The program includes visits to several art centers, including The Whitney Museum, David Zwirner Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Met. The students also had the chance to elevate their art knowledge and express their creativity through art activities. For example, students learned about streetwear from designer Ray Miah of Orée and created custom Nike sneakers during a workshop led by Kirsten Batten Leach, Community & School Liaison at the Children’s Museum of Art. That same week, students attended a sewing workshop with Lizzy Martin, founder of Whistling Finch, and modeled their creations in an impromptu fashion show. Students also participated in a scavenger hunt at the Brooklyn Museum and a mock art auction. 

The program culminated with capstone presentations from four groups of students who designed museums and shared their concepts at The Nightingale-Bamford School, Thursday, August 3. Each group had a designated director, curator, and education director. Habiba M. (XLI), Nailla T. (P9 XXXV), Peyton A-H. (P9 XXXV) presented The DAY Museum, which focuses on discovering young, up-and-coming artists. Praise N. (XLI), Gabriel C. (P9 XXXIV), and John M. (P9 XXXIV) created The Museum of N. DR. S, which highlights the work of artists from Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, and Senegal. The NY Museum of Animation Throughout the Ages, from Jade M. (XLII), Sophia W. (XXXIX), Arianna A. J. (XLII), and Evelyn S. (XLII), explores the history of animated work since its inception. Chamari W. (P9 XXXIII), Kaiya B. (P9 XXXIII), and Diana A. (P9 XXXV) developed The Muse, a museum showcasing the work of Instagram artists. In addition to the presentations, the students shared some of the artwork they created during the summer with attendees. 
Prep for Prep is extremely grateful for the following people and organizations that generously gave their time and resources:

All City Legends
Amir Diop Studios
Catherine Almonte
Brooklyn Museum
Bree Chapin
David Zwirner Gallery
Brittany DiMauro
The Guggenheim Museum
Walden Huntley-Fenner 
Shayna Jeffers (XVIII)
Yayoi Kusma
Keith Haring Foundation
Lizzy Martin
Watson Mere
Courtney Mullin
Flo Ngala ((XXIX)
Eric Orr
Powerhouse Arts
David Rampersad (XXIX)
Early Riser 
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Sarah Sze
Juan Paolo Tolentino
Akili Tommasino (XVIII)
Universal Hip Hop Museum
Gil Vazquez
Whistling Finch
The Whitney Museum of American Art 
163 West 91st Street
New York, NY 10024
P: 212.579.1470
328 West 71st Street
New York, NY 10023
P: 212.579.1390
We envision a nation guided by ethical and effective leaders that reflect our diverse society. 

Prep for Prep's mission is to develop future leaders by creating access for young people of color to first-rate educational, leadership development and professional opportunities.