The Educational Program is responsible for how the Bienal relates directly with the public. Curated by Stela Barbieri, the program aims to accrue value to everyday experiences and propose reflection and dialogue about contemporary art as filtered through people’s life stories and contact with art and art-making. The Educational Program organizes free actions designed to inter-relate art and education.
The Bienal has a track-record of educational projects that stretches back to the second edition (1953), though these were isolated endeavors related to the exhibitions in question and beginning and ending with them. With each new edition, a new educational team was put together to plan the program, make contact with institutions and teachers and train up educators to lead guided tours.
From the work done for the 29th Bienal, also curated by Stela Barbieri, the board of the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation realized the need for an ongoing line of action, with the result that, in 2011, the Bienal Educational Program became a permanent fixture. Most of the projects for the 29th Bienal were maintained, rethought and assessed, while new ideas and projects were introduced.
The Educational Department’s work on the exhibition In The Name of the Artists – American Contemporary Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection began in January 2011 and includes:
Training meetings for teachers, social educators, staff at cultural institutions and community leaders
Whether in a single three-hour encounter or seven-day courses, speakers from the Educational Program coordination team drew connections between art and life. These meetings hinged upon listening, upon a valuing of the voice in movement, and they enabled each participant to have his or her own aesthetic experience. In total, some eight thousand people participated.
after the training sessions, we normally develop poetic actions that relate what was discussed during the training with some activity that affords an artistic experience using such everyday materials as kraft paper, canvas, fabrics, image reproductions, glue, paper, scissors, pens, crayons, string, and colored ribbons, among other items.
School Vacation Course in Contemporary Art
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month of July 2011, the Bienal Educational Program ran a seven-session vacation course designed to foster reflection on contemporaneity and the directions and teachings of contemporary art through the concepts and artists featured in the In The Name of the Artists exhibition.
Experiences + Experiences
Over nine meetings, guest lecturers presented their research on artists featured in the exhibition, just as they normally would in the lecture theater. Afterwards, the Bienal educators (interns responsible for visitor attendance during the exhibition) made connections with those same artists from the perspective of education within the exhibition space. The intention is the strengthen ties between the teachers and the educators before the guided tours begin and to uncover the scope and difficulties of each area.
In the Name of the Artists Educational Material
Directed towards public and private school teachers, NGO educators and community leaders, and intended for use with adults, youths and children aged six or over, the Educational Material was developed by the coordination team of the Bienal Educational Department as classroom aids designed to draw out conceptual maps. The material consists of cards with information about the artists participating in the exhibition, as well as a glossary, connectors and key words.
Bienal Educator Training
The educators escorting guided tours during the exhibition are all university students who have taken a three-month training course covering contemporary art, the history of American art, the Astrup Fearnley Museum art collection, and the artists featured in the In the Name of the Artists exhibition, plus supplementary English and French lessons for interested parties and field visits to various NGOs and institutions, including Escola Campos Salles, Projeto Arrastão, Escola Castanheiras, Instituto Arte na Escola, Instituto Nova União da Arte (NUA) and the cultural entities Instituto Itaú Cultural, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Museu da Casa Brasileira, Instituto Moreira Salles, Museu Afro Brasil, Museu Lasar Segall, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP), Museu Belas Artes (MUBA), Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP), SESC Pinheiros, Paço das Artes, Centro de Cultura Judaica (CCJ), Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC-USP), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), Museu da Imagem e do Som of São Paulo (MIS-SP) and Museu da Cidade (Capela do Morumbi, Solar da Marquesa de Santos and Casa da Imagem).
Visits by teachers, social educators and community leaders to Bienal-partner cultural institutions in São Paulo
During the training course for Bienal educators, those interested also had the chance to participate in visits to partner institutions, where they were received by educational departments with specially organized lectures on the relationship between education and art and the role of the educator, as well as guided tours and poetic actions.
Closed visits for teachers before the official opening of the exhibition
The 28th and 29th of September were reserved for closed visits for teachers, social educators and community leaders ahead of the official opening. The teachers were given priority access to the work comprising In the Name of the Artists – American Contemporary Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection so they could discuss the exhibition and prepare their students for guided tours. This initiative was also taken before the opening of the 29th Bienal.
Scheduled group visits and public attendance on guided tours during the In the Name of the Artists exhibition
In partnership with the logistics company Diverte Cultural, the Bienal’s Educational Department is responsible for attending groups visiting the exhibition. With an expected public of 60 thousand, approximately 120 educators, nine supervisors and the coordination and production team at the Educational Department are there to facilitate moments of experience and encounter during the guided tours, which are open to everyone aged six and over.
Visits and atelier activities for senior citizens – Since the 29th Bienal de São Paulo, the Educational Department has been hosting special guided tours for groups of senior citizens (aged 60 or over). The guided tour lasts roughly an hour and a half and is conducted by specially-trained educators. The itinerary includes works that help establish dialogues and reflection on life, aging, vitality, memory and forgetting.
From Tuesday through Sunday, guided tours are offered to small groups of walk-in visitors who are looking for dialogue on the works on show. Anybody interested in joining these impromptu groups should contact the Educational Attendance Reception Desk, located near the main entrance to the exhibition.
No Near Yet So Far II
Interlacing with the art curriculum – A distance-learning course on contemporary art administered in partnership with the São Paulo State Educational Secretariat. The course uses the exhibition In the Name of the Artists – American Contemporary Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection to raise issues related to the teaching of contemporary art at schools. The 30-hour course breaks down into 24 hours distance learning and 6 on-site classes, including guided tours of the exhibition and atelier work. The on-site hours were scheduled for the months of October and November 2011.
Weekend program for children and families for the duration of the exhibition
The first floor of the exhibition houses the Room for Dialogue, a room where film screenings, musical and theater presentations, storytelling sessions, lectures and debates will be held over the duration of the exhibition. A special program has been devised for Children’s Day (October 12).
Special Program for Teachers’ Week
From the 11th to the 16th of October, the Bienal Educational Department will present a series of lectures on the challenges of working as an educator.
Teachers who participated in the training programs and who worked with In the Name of the Artists in the classroom return to the Bienal to discuss their experiences and student receptiveness.
Bienal across the City
public projections of videos of Bienal exhibitions will be made at various points throughout the city, such as metro stations, bus terminals and central stations, and public squares etc.
Since the 29th Bienal, the Educational Department has teamed up with the Wanda Svevo Historical Archive (AHWS) to offer yet another option to those hoping to deepen their knowledge and study of contemporary art, the history of the Bienal and the artists featured in the exhibitions. The Reading Room contains books and catalogues by and on the artists, concepts and educational references related to the exhibition and used by the Educational Department. The material is open for consultation, without prior appointment, during exhibition opening hours.
For more about the Bienal’s Educational Program, contact us at:
Tel.: +55 11 5576 7611