Behind the Scenes Education

Teens on Museums, Relevancy, and Community: Part 2

Learn more about the Satellite High School Program offered by the Museum in this four part series.

A view of the final celebration in progress. Photo by Front Room Photography

It’s my pleasure to share the work of the teen interns in this semesterrsquo;s Satellite High School Program. Fifteen students from all around Milwaukee spent a semester exploring and discussing art, touring elementary school students, going behind the scenes, speaking to staff, and learning about career skills. Then, the teens created final projects expressing how art can be made relevant to our lives today and how the Milwaukee Art Museum can be an icon for the city, inside and out. This post, part 2 of 4, showcases the work of these students in their own words.

The second group of students created non-digital artworks for their final projects.


“For this piece I wanted to visually interpret the answers to the framing questions we had in Satellite throughout the semester–how can we make art relevant, and what does it mean for the Museum to be an icon of the city? In order to answer what it meant for the Museum to be an icon, I had to do some research on the history of the building. Santiago Calatrava was the Spanish architect that added the beautiful Quadracci Pavilion in its full completion in 2001. Milwaukee is one of the few places that people can see the architect’s work. The variant colors and shapes in my piece were done to represent the different ideas and people that the museum itself attracts. While there might be some people who merely know of the museum as this grand and beautiful building, other people flourish in the building—from making a living through working in the Milwaukee Art Museum to simply visiting the galleries often as a source of inspiration.”


“My piece MKE represents the many different places that art is involved around Milwaukee. Making this piece made me realize that we are an icon inside and out of Milwaukee. My idea for this project was to show the many places that art is involved in and to show that they can be where ever you go. Even if it is to the store, the park, or even your local café shop. My experience in Satellite program had to be one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had so far. The Satellite program has taught me how to look deeper into pieces of art and how we can relate to them. One of my plans for my future is to go to college and get a degree to become an art director because I would like to get to take a turn on doing a little bit of everyone’s job around the museum.”


“In my project, I drew two mythical creatures gathering towards the Museum as a metaphor of other nations and artists of the world visiting Milwaukee’s greatest icon. Behind this icon is the negativity that surrounds the city. I’ve chosen to make the Museum a center point of the city because I believe Milwaukee births artists with amazing abilities, philosophies, and knowledge. Due to the negativity that swarms around our neighborhoods, people are less interested in art and leave artists invisible. With that being said the Museum makes itself relevant in our lives by reaching out to teens, showing the different possible careers and experiences at the Museum. The thing I really loved the most about this program is that it connects teens throughout the city to come together and share ideas about art and learn from each other, thus becoming a whole as a community.”

Stay tuned next week for the next installment of the teens’ projects!

Chelsea Emelie Kelly was the Museum’s Manager of Digital Learning. In addition to working on educational technology initiatives like the Kohl’s Art Generation Lab and this blog, she oversaw and taught teen programs.

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