On Day 5, the Teen Docents went on a field trip a few blocks away to a neighboring museum—the Museum of Biblical Art. MoBiA displays art inspired by the Bible and its cultural legacy, and the students toured their current exhibition Ashé to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery. Included in the show are three works from the American Folk Art Museum’s collection. Ashé, a Yoruba word that evokes the creative power of an artist to make something happen, and “amen,” a biblical religious affirmation, were central concepts as students explored pieces made by African American artists.
The exhibition includes themes such as Religious Landscapes and Faith, and through these themes, students learned about how these artworks can demonstrate cross-cultural influences. They were particularly inspired by Xenobia Bailey’s Sistah Paradise’s Great Walls of Fire Revival Tent. They came up with complex interpretations, and the piece reminded students of dragons, crochet scarves, and cups of tea.
After the tour, the students had the opportunity to choose their own themes and three objects that represented their ideas. They began by observing objects throughout the rest of MoBiA’s exhibition, and afterward, they presented their selections to the class. Some of their themes included Freedom, the Pathway to Jesus and Mary, Destiny, and Who Are We?
The Teen Docents’ presentations gave us all new perspectives on how to view these artworks, and they had enthusiastic and insightful interpretations that sparked curiosity in all of us!