The past few weeks have seen a number of pop-up store/gallery environments around the city and the RE:FORM SCHOOL pop up art exhibition that ran this past weekend was one to be seen. For such a short life, the public opening on Friday, October 9th with a closing on Monday, October 11th, it made a powerful statement. It consumed the corridors of the oldest Catholic school in the city, St. Patrick’s Cathedral School located downtown on Mott Street. This beautiful structure was recently shuttered due to low enrollment and cutbacks and because of this was specifically chosen as the site for this exhibition to draw attention to it as a great loss to the city. RE:FORM SCHOOL is an event series and public awareness campaign taking place in New York City, which brings together the creative community in a call for the reform of the American Public Education System. And in the wake of such films as, “Waiting for Superman,” the timing couldn’t have better to present this event.
Over 1,000 art submissions were received from artists across the United States who used their voices and talents to collaborate in sending a loud message that the time has come to fix our ailing public school system. The themes for the works fell under the four categories of Knowledge, Community, Teachers Inspire, and Creativity & Innovation. The judges included the likes of Russell Simmons, hip-hop pioneer and entrepreneur; Shepard Fairey, the artist responsible for the HOPE poster and bringing urban art to the forefront; Davis Guggenheim, director of the film, “Waiting for Superman”; Ivan Shaw, Photo Director of Vogue and Rosario Dawson, the actress, singer and writer, among others. 150 artist works’ were selected and shown side by side with art by such notables as Swoon, Michel Gondry, Ron English, WK Interact, Chris Johanson and Shepard Fairey.
The works were diverse and interpreted the four themes in endless mediums and methods. Inspiration could be drawn from the the craftsmanship, the message and the cause. All areas of the school were utilized, including some of the bathrooms. Below is a montage highlighting some of the works.
RE:FORM SCHOOL is a REDU project. REDU stands for rethinking, reforming and rebuilding US education. Powered by people and technology, REDU is a movement designed to expand and encourage the national conversation around education reform by providing information and resources to learn, a community platform to connect, and the tools to act. You can get involved at letsredu.com.
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