ma­iana radack-krass­ner

Putting on a show

Pasatiempo - - Young Artists -

SITE Santa Fe’s Young Cu­ra­tors pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in the vis­ual arts op­por­tu­ni­ties to plan and in­stall their own ex­hi­bi­tions of art­work cre­ated by as­pir­ing artists be­tween the ages of 13 and 21. Par­tic­i­pants choose the artists, make de­sign de­ci­sions, and han­dle press for their shows. Ma­iana Radack­Krass­ner has been with the pro­gram since her mid­dle-school years. “I’ve been do­ing it since eighth grade, so it’s go­ing on five years,” Radack-Krass­ner ex­plained. “I go to Santa Fe Prep. We have this thing called Teen Action Pro­gram, TAP, where we have to do a com­mu­nity ser­vice. Be­cause I al­ready have a re­la­tion­ship with the peo­ple at SITE Santa Fe, I chose to do an in­tern­ship there.”

As part of her time at SITE, Radack-Krass­ner learns about the in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions of the con­tem­po­rary art space. “SITE gives talks and puts on events, and I’ll do re­search on cer­tain artists, on art and ex­hi­bi­tions that have been done on a cer­tain topic that they’re looking for or some­one that’s re­ally knowl­edge­able about a cer­tain sub­ject that can pos­si­bly come and talk,” she said.

The Young Cu­ra­tors pro­gram, overseen by Joanne Le­frak, has in­stalled ex­hibits in venues that in­clude the Har­wood Mu­seum in Taos, the New Mex­ico Mu­seum of Art, and the Santa Fe Art In­sti­tute. Radack-Krass­ner is one of about a dozen Young Cu­ra­tors in­volved in the ex­e­cu­tion of th­ese shows. “We come up with themes for what­ever kind of ex­hi­bi­tion we want,” she said. “We’ve done a monochro­matic show, art based on words. This time we’re do­ing doo­dling.” Their 17th ex­hi­bi­tion — Doo­dle? — will be held at the Col­lege of Santa Fe Fine Arts Gallery in the spring of 2010. The sub­mis­sion process is open to stu­dents na­tion­wide, she said. “Joanne con­tacts the teach­ers of art classes at cer­tain high schools in Santa Fe and other places. A lot of times we’ll get sub­mis­sions be­cause the art teacher will as­sign them or artists will come for­ward and sub­mit their art them­selves. Once we get the art, we start looking at it; and we break it down into yes, maybe, no. Some­times it’s art that’s good but not for our show.”

Radack-Krass­ner is also in­ter­ested in photography, but she does not sub­mit her own work for in­clu­sion in the show be­cause she is one of the ju­rors. “I’ve been tak­ing photography at my school for some years now. Blackand-white prints. It’s cool be­cause we have a dark­room with de­vel­oper and film. I took a photo camp for teens pro­gram this sum­mer at the Santa Fe Pho­to­graph­icWork­shops.”

Radack-Krass­ner is not sure about the course of study she will pur­sue in col­lege next fall. “I def­i­nitely know that I’ll al­ways stay in­volved in the arts,” she said. “I’m in the process of ap­ply­ing to colleges right now. Mostly to schools in Cal­i­for­nia, and I’m ap­ply­ing to UC Boul­der, be­cause my sis­ter is up in Boul­der.” She is not sure whether she will re­turn to Santa Fe in her pro­fes­sional ca­reer.

“I feel like Santa Fe has a pretty good art com­mu­nity,” she said. “At my high school, if you’re an artist, they to­tally sup­port you. This past year was the first year they got us to go to St. Michael’s [High School] to re­cruit for the Young Cu­ra­tors, and it turned out to be good— we have quite a few kids from there be­cause they don’t re­ally get as much op­por­tu­nity as far as arts go.”

By pro­vid­ing out­reach to the stu­dent bodies of var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions, the Young Cu­ra­tors pro­gram brings to­gether kids who might oth­er­wise only in­ter­act on the play­ing field at sports events. “Any­one can join Young Cu­ra­tors, and it does give you an idea of what it might be like to work as an artist or a cu­ra­tor,” Radack-Krass­ner said. “I think the best part about it is learn­ing what goes into it. It’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing process.”

— Michael Abatemarco

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