Part One: MENTORS WITH STUDENTS, 1-ON-1
To expose students to the real life of working artists, they are matched, through a careful application and interview process, with prominent artists who offer encouragement, practical advice and guidance, as well as assistance in completing an art project suitable for professional presentation in a high profile cWOW exhibition (See Part Four below). In turn, the student assists the artist, in his or her studio, with a project that might not otherwise have been possible without extra help. Most importantly, we believe that the creation of a personal bond between young and mature artists can be an extremely powerful and positive force in the education and encouragement of promising art students. The Mentor receives detailed guidelines on the program’s goals along with helpful tips on how to work with the student. Each Mentor/Student pair meets twice weekly for 2 hours each meeting.
Part Two: INTERNS
To teach students about the inside workings of galleries and museums, ArtReach offers direct experience in the professional administration of an arts organization. A working knowledge of the business of art is essential to a student’s future success as an artist. Each intern gains hands-on experience with slide registries (cWOW has the largest of any gallery in New Jersey), exhibition installations, mailings, openings, databases, photographing artworks, and all other gallery operations. The Interns also receive hands-on computer training through which they produce the promotional materials for the ArtReach Exhibition (See Part Four). They design the announcement cards and exhibition catalog.
Part Three: SCHOOL LECTURES
To instruct students in practical, methodical career planning, ArtReach presents a semester-long series of lectures to school classes, and even full student assemblies, by working artists who share expertise and advice on the practical techniques and methodology of creating and sustaining a career in fine art. The artists stress the importance of capitalizing on the many opportunities already available to students, such as art competitions, mural projects, set design, etc., and how these activities can form the basis of a coherent career strategy. Participating artists are selected through a formal interview process. Special attention is given to role models relevant to the many minority students at New Jersey’s high schools.
Part Four: THE ArtReach EXHIBITION
To offer students a professional exhibition opportunity, ArtReach concludes each year with a high profile exhibition of art by the Artist Mentors and their Student Assistants (see Part One), organized with the participation of the Student Interns (see Part Two) who help design the announcement card, catalog and installation. Previous ArtReach exhibitions have been consistently reviewed by the New York Times and the Star Ledger. cWOW’s exhibitions are seen by many thousands of viewers each year. Special viewings are arranged for school groups and this show, like all those at cWOW, is free and open to the public, providing an opportunity to see the results of a successful community-based cultural project in a fully professional environment.