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Here at the Wex, we view youth as the natural ambassadors to contemporary art. Young people help us question assumptions about gender, race, and social justice and articulate their questions and interests through art experiences and artmaking. The Wexner Center’s education staff works in substantive and sustained partnerships with a variety of local community organizations and social service agencies that focus on the needs of teens, including Godman Guild, Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Huckleberry House, Star House, and others.
Recently, we’ve deepened relations with our neighbors in Weinland Park through community art projects. For examples of Weinland Park community engagement, please visit our graphic anthology, the Weinland Park Story Book, here and the Weinland Park Billboard Project here. You can also view videos by WOSU featuring both projects here and here.
We are proud to represent and support youth in all past and future projects. They serve as the directors and drivers for the work created in partnership with local professional artists. Stay tuned for upcoming projects in your Columbus neighborhood!
These daylong, fast-paced programs incorporate interactive studio workshops and discussions with professional artists who work across disciplines, often incorporating new technologies alongside traditional art forms. WexLab workshops maintain a small enrollment size to allow for plenty of one-on-one mentoring. The program is for teens ages 13–18 and older youth who are in high school or working on their GED.
Ohio youth ages 18 and under are encouraged to submit their original, short videos (five minutes or less) created within the past year to our annual video competition (if you are 19 or older, please submit work under the adult division).
Teachers and educators, let us know if you’d like us to visit your school or organization to screen past youth works to your students or if you need help submitting work for the March deadline. Creating a video as a class or small group is a terrific activity—we can also show you samples of these. Collaborative videos can be about any subject and can take any form including animation, live action, infomercials, comedy shorts, homework assignments, or Claymation. Rough edits are always welcome!
Our annual screening party consistently sells out and includes great food, a fantastic show featuring adult and youth work, awesome prizes, and our famous Audience Choice Award.
Call & Response is a responsive school program that works closely with students who are doing student-led, student driven work in their schools and community. This program provides resources and various access points to contemporary art as students explore contemporary social issues. The program operates both in and beyond school hours, and provides creative integration to support activated students with their community service learning initiatives. This program cultivates a partnership with students while including teacher(s), adult mentors, and the parents that support these students. Programming is driven by youths participating in service learning initiatives in school and in the community. Call & Response is open to student-led groups or clubs in any central Ohio school. In 2016-18, we worked with students at Fort Hayes HS. In 2018-19, we will work with students at Westerville North HS.