Art works created by 150 Brooklyn middle and high school students and inspired by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be on show at Barclays Center for two days in August.
Students created the artworks as part of a Basquiat arts program developed in partnership between the Brooklyn Nets, the New York City Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools.
More than 1,400 middle and high school students across 50 Brooklyn public schools took part in the two-month course, studying various Basquiat works and learning how art can both serve as a vehicle for communication and a tool to facilitate societal change.
Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said the program, funded by the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, had been about creating new outlets for students to express themselves, develop their passions, and find inspiration in the important contributions of Basquiat.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Brooklyn Nets on this initiative and can’t wait to see our students’ creations displayed at Barclays Center,” she said.
Basquiat is widely recognized for popularizing Black heritage in art and used his artwork as a creative outlet to explore himself and provide social commentary on the world around him – mostly on societal inequalities, BSE Global, Barclays Center parent company, said in a press release.
To help students share their own stories through artwork, each participant received art supplies including canvas boards, acrylic and oil paints, and oil pastels.
BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi said the company, which has pledged millions to Brooklyn organizations and people through its new Social Justice Fund, was proud to represent Brooklyn and to help celebrate the cultural and societal impact the borough has had on the world.
“Basquiat is a great source of inspiration for anyone seeking to inspire change, and we believe the messages found in his artwork can continue to shape generations to come,” he said.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the community in August to experience this one-of-a-kind student art exhibit.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1960, Basquiat was a revolutionary artist and painter whose upbringing and diverse cultural background set the stage for much of his artwork. Basquiat blended text and image throughout his iconic works, illuminating important themes and issues that continue to resonate today.
Due to its popularity, the program’s curriculum will be expanded to all NYC public schools beginning this fall.
The free show at Barclays Center will be open to the public on Sunday, Aug. 8 and Monday, Aug. 9 from 11:00am until 2:00pm and 4:00pm until 7:00pm in the arena’s Geico Atrium. T
he private opening for the students will take place on Saturday, Aug. 7.
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