Outside every May's busy onsite programming at Frieze New York - such as the school tours, which see hundreds of students from the city visit the fair on Randall's Island - Frieze Education is a year-round committment, extending to art spaces through out the city.
Bringing together high school students from the New York city area for regular activities, Frieze Teens is at the forefront of the program. Every year, introduces a group of engaged participants to professionals in different areas of contemporary art, encouraging understanding of the field’s diveristy - and the many pathways into it - from those who know it first hand.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for young people to find inspiration for a future working in the visual arts”, says Frieze Fairs’ Head of Operations, Molly McIver, who also stressed the Frieze Teens’ genuine personal investment in the program’s activities, and the close, supportive group which emerges over the course of the year.
Participants in Frieze Teens regularly lead the school tours at Frieze New York (many of which are for groups from neighbourhoods adjacent to the fair site on Randall’s Island, such as East Harlem and the South Bronx); both their enthusiasm and their original insights into the work at the fair, suggests McIver, are testimony to the participants' deep engagement in the program through the year.
With a schedule of weekly activities, this is perhaps no surprise. The 2017 cohort - comprising 18 students aged 16-18, nominated by teachers from a range of local high schools - have already made studio visits with leading artists like Nicole Eisenman, participated in Pioneer Works’ Alternative Art School Fair, and shared visits to exhibitions at The MET Breuer and the New Museum, among other activities.
Thanks to five consecutive years' support from Deutsche Bank, the program has previously enabled workshops and other collaborations with the likes of Urs Fischer and Julie Mehretu, Triple Canopy, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. As Frieze Teens continues into its fifth year, the programme’s aims - to open a space for active questioning and to create a supportive community for learning - seem as relevant and necessary in 2017 as ever.