Senior Planet News

MoMA magic at Senior Planet

The Senior Planet Exploration Center is hosting an exclusive art opening on June 11th in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which is known for its trendy art galleries.

The opening, which will be livestreamed on Senior Planet’s YouTube channel between 6pm and 8pm, will feature student art from an innovative workshop at the Center, which was given in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The workshop, “Between Two Worlds: Modern Art and Technology,” explored the fascinating intersection between art and the digital age, and was, as in previous years, offered during the Center’s spring quarter.

Trainer, Guest MoMA educator, and visual artist Kirstin Broussard, who will be speaking at the opening, began the workshop by showing students works of cubists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque as well as more obscure artists such as Hazem Harb and Andrea Geyer. In addition to providing some art history and context, Kirstin outlined the goals of the workshop, which included taking abstract photographs and augmenting them using two apps on the iPad.

OATS trainer Roberto Enamorado guided members through the technology, including the process of downloading and implementing the use of the apps: Fragment and Sketches Pro. Fragment is an app that enables the user to transform any picture into a unique prism-like kaleidoscopic image. Sketches Pro allows users to draw and paint digitally on an iPad.

Kirstin brought in materials such as images, vellum, gels, hole punches, colored paper, crayons, and glass. The students were then able to make collages, photograph them, deconstruct them in Fragment, or draw on them with Sketches Pro. She also discussed the art of street photography and abstraction, as the students’ goal was to create final works that were abstract.

It may sound intimidating, but luddites and stick figure drawers, fret not! Being an iPad expert is not a prerequisite for taking the MoMA workshop — nor is being a photographer or ‘artist’!

Senior Planet members Daryl Brook and Rita Russo both loved the workshop, and have completely different backgrounds.

Rita Russo is a photographer, which attracted her to the workshop — but she admits she had little tech savvy when it came to the iPad. She says Roberto’s expertise saved the day.

“Roberto knows his equipment. Kirstin knows modern art,” Rita says. “Robert did the tech, Kirstin had the information. Both of them know their work. So together, they really worked nicely. The workshop was well-run. And Roberto is very, very patient. He would never say, ‘I said this to you yesterday.’”

Daryl Brook describes herself as “not a good photographer” but great at the tech end of things.

“You don’t have to be anything to take the workshop!” Daryl says. “One thing I tell people is that I am an average photographer — but I am good at the computer so I can make images look good.”

Daryl says she was inspired by Kirstin and her teaching techniques throughout the workshop, which also included a visit to MoMA.

“She provoked you into thinking about things through a photographer’s eye,” she says. “She showed us some of her work, and she would give you inspiration. She really inspired people to look at things differently.”

“Kirstin’s level of enthusiasm for art and creativity was a huge asset,” co-trainer Roberto says. “She shared her appreciation for art and the arts by sharing different artists’ work, and was also thoughtful in how she responded to students’ work.”

‘Photographer’ or not, Daryl says the workshop was a huge success because it allowed her access and nurture the artist in her. “When I do something artistic, it just makes me feel whole. It makes me feel that I’m in my space.”

The art opening featuring students’ masterpieces will be livestreamed on Senior Planet’s YouTube channel on June 11th between 6pm and 8pm. The event will feature student speakers from the workshop as well as comments from Kirstin Broussard and Roberto Enamorado. Light refreshments and wine will be served. Evening attire is encouraged. 

RSVP is required. To RSVP, please email or call 646-590-0615

And don’t worry if you can’t “be” there — the event will live on in cyber-history! You’ll be able to access it anytime on Senior Planet’s YouTube Channel!