Artist, collaborator, and educator, Tim Rollins, and two members of Kids of Survival (K.O.S.) talked about the history and philosophy of K.O.S at FIT last week. In 1982, Rollins first launched a workshop called Art and Knowledge workshop in the South Bronx. There at- risk youth created art work based on great works of literature. Numerous biennials and museum shows followed. Their latest exhibition in 2009, was a group retrospective at Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College.
Fine Arts department instructors had this to say:
“Their creative path, one in which the core of the art practice involves teaching, working with, and motivating kids to pursue excellence in what they do and how they think of themselves was inspiring,” said Professor Jean Feinberg.
“When Tim talked about taking Bronx students who had never been below 125 Street on a whirlwind tour of MoMA and asking what they remembered, and one them asked about ‘the black painting about God'; when Carlos’ face lit up when he recalled seeing the work of Robert Ryman the first time; when Tim said he believed he would achieve more not by meeting his students on their level–graffiti–but on his of art history–those were special moments that spoke to me about the educational importance of exposure to culture and maintaining high expectations,” said John Allen.
“Listening to Tim Rollins tell his story of K.O.S. brought to mind some
lines of a poem by Rilke: ‘I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.’ Tim does just this…He has a widening impact on peoples’ lives,” said Professor Joel Werring.
For more about Tim Rollins and K.O.S. go to the website of the Lehmann Maupin Gallery.
This visiting artist talk was part of the ARTSpeak series at FIT, in which artists discuss diversity and artistic practice, and is sponsored by the Fine Arts Department, the President’s Diversity Council, and the Dean’s Office.