NEW YORKAs the sun set over the Hudson River on Wednesday evening, guests at Leaps annual gala on the Frying Pan, a barge docked at Pier 66 in New York, mingled with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Kenny Scharf, Dennis Oppenheim, and others.
Everyone was there to celebrate the arts education programs 32nd year. Leap short for Learning through an Expanded Arts Program brings artists and experts into schools and museums to work with both staff and students to learn about art and the world around them.
Artist Tom Otterness, who works with students in the program, said Leap is part of the earliest stages of the creation of public art in the city. It plants the seeds for kids to make public work and look at it and begin to think and debate ideas, he said.
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Artist Tim Rollins has been teaching art in schools in the South Bronx since 1981 and has seen a number of his former students go on to make careers for themselves in the arts. Rollinss students named themselves K.O.S., which stands for Kids of Survival, and the groups collaborative artworks made with Rollins have been shown in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. On Wednesday, one of his former students was photographing the Leap event, which the artist said made him proud.
The evening ended with a film about the organizations programs and a presentation by its Radical Arts Venue and Education Center dancers from Middle School 22 in the Bronx, who performed a poem and dance number for the crowd as the Frying Pan swayed back and forth in the Hudson.
The next night, art world activity remained in the same neighborhood but moved further inland, as Julie Saul Gallery, Michael Steinberg Fine Art, Charles Cowles Gallery, and Mixed Greens launched new exhibitions, as did artist Kendall Klingbeil in a gallery space at 606 West 26th Street.
Click on the photo gallery at left for pictures from the Leap gala and Chelsea openings.photograph of opening