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Art IRL: teens take over the NGA

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The NGA is inviting creative teens to experience a free (virtual) evening of workshops and live music at Art IRL: Teen Takeover.

Having a hard time tearing your teen away from their screen? Wish they were doing something a little more cultural than TikTok?

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) can help you with that.

This Friday 22 May, the currently-closed Gallery will be subject to a virtual takeover—Art IRL: Teen Takeover—and your teen is invited.

Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro. Silent operation: Sign study based on the formula of contemporary (visual) art 2018-19 installation comprising neon wall-works and interactive game application. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Commissioned and purchased 2019. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia.

Taking place from 6-8 pm, the evening’s program features a wide range of teen-centric activities and workshops for kids aged 13-18.

They include online art labs teaching crash courses in augmented reality by Canberra artist Jess Herrington, lessons in the fundamental and experimental techniques of portraiture by Sydney-based artist Abdul Abdullah and a workshop in sound software Ableton by multi-disciplinary artist Corin Ileto.

“In a time where we are physically separated from each other, creative audiences, particularly young ones, need an outlet for artistic expression,” says Celeste Aldahn, the National Gallery of Australia’s Teen Program Producer.

“By taking the teen takeover online and offering a virtually-accessible creative escape for the night, the National Gallery hopes to extend the reach beyond usual physical boundaries and connect with young audiences from across the country.”

Yayoi Kusama, THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO HEAVENS 2017. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2018 with the assistance of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett
Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/ Singapore/ Shanghai. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia.

Produced by the Gallery with support from the NGA’s Teen Council, Art IRL will be hosted live across Instagram and other web-based platforms—and all your teen needs is a laptop or smartphone and an internet connection to join in.

While the labs are running, the NGA’s Instagram Live will also host a showcase of young musicians across the evening.


6 pm: Online art lab #1:  AR Face Filters with Jess Herrington
7 pm: Online art lab #2:  Portraiture with Abdul Abdullah
7.01 pm: Online art lab #3: Ableton 101 with Corin Ileto

To register, email teens@nga.gov.au. Limited capacity for workshops.


What: Art IRL: Teen Takeover workshop series for teens aged 13-18
When: Friday 22 May from 6-8 pm
Where: Online
Cost: Free, but registration required for workshops. Limited space available. Email teens@nga.gov.au to register.

Feature image: Zico Albaiquni, For evidently, the fine arts do not thrive in the Indies, 2018, oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Purchased 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia.

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