Albany Museum of Art leadership program creates community engagement through art for area students

ALBANY, Ga. – The Albany Museum of Art Teen Art Board has a record 19 members on its roster for the 2023-24 school year, AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem announced. The high school leadership program comprises students who work throughout the school year to reach other teens in the Albany area through art.

“We had the largest number of applicants in the five years that the Teen Art Board has been in existence,” Vanoteghem said. “I also was pleased with the quality of the applications. The 2023-24 Teen Art Board is poised to have a tremendously successful year.” The AMA Teen Art Board (TAB) met last week for orientation and the selection of officers and members of its executive committee. Brianna McCoy, a Dougherty High School junior, was voted president, and Dontrell Martin, a DHA sophomore, was elected vice president. Serving with them on the board’s Executive Committee will be Maddi Johnson, a Deerfield Windsor School junior; Carson Sizemore, a DWS senior, and Jeremiah Sleighmon, a Georgia Connection Academy freshman.

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Source: Albany Museum of Art (AMA)

Joining them on the board are Jayla Julion Carmichael, junior, DHS; Samantha Collins, senior, Lee County High School; Catibrie Gilbert, senior, LCHS; Iman Alora Hakima, freshman, homeschool; Cora Pearl James, junior, Byne Christian School; Chas Jackson, junior, Georgia Cyber Academy; Na’Eilah Kennedy, sophomore, Westover High School; Alyia Nurbhai, sophomore, DWS; Laila Seay, freshman, Monroe High School; Kaitlyn Sokolowski, junior, homeschool; Anna Marie Stevenson, junior, Terrell Academy; Precious Thomas, junior, Baconton Community Charter School, Marissa Williams, junior, WHS, and Margo Wulf, sophomore, DWS. Members develop creative programming and coordinate community events. They plan, support, and promote teen initiatives at the AMA and within the community. TAB designs and executes one project targeted at teens that will be made available to the museum’s audience at-large during their term. Members attend and participate in lectures, group discussions, and artist workshops and serve as volunteers assisting with museum classes, public events, and community programs.

“The Albany Museum of Art Teen Art Board works to inspire creativity while having fun to positively impact their community,” Vanoteghem said. “They aim to validate creative minds in the middle and high schools of Southwest Georgia. This leadership program benefits our local students by providing personal development, emotional well-being, and the cultivation of skills and interests that can benefit them throughout their lives.”

Previous community engagement projects by the TAB include collecting art supplies for children at Liberty House; creation of Student Art Studio Saturdays, a free monthly art session for teens; installation of the region’s first Art-o-Mat at the AMA, and the first Night at the Museum: Teen Spotlight Night, an auction and show for artwork by high school and college students.

This group is a platform for student leaders to:
• Serve through engagement with the community;
• Create and implement art programming for local students;
• Support and raise awareness of student artists;
• Develop an understanding of how non-profit art museums operate;
• Learn from exhibiting artists and museum professionals;
• Coordinate community events;
• Collaborate with the education and programming department at the AMA;
• Build resume skills and expand future job opportunities through experience and

“This AMA program offers Albany area teens an opportunity for representation, inclusion,
recognition, and involvement in the larger community of Albany,” Vanoteghem said. “They are
essential in building up our community for future generations.”

AMA Exhibitions:
Land That I Love, works by Ashley Cecil, is in the Haley Gallery Sept 7, 2023-Jan 6, 2024.
• Familias, works by Ramiro Davaro-Comas, is in the East and Hodges Galleries Sept 7,
2023-Jan 6, 2024.
• Southern Visionaries: Self-Taught Artists From the AMA Permanent Collection is in the
McCormack Gallery Sept 7, 2023-Jan 6, 2024.
• Escape Plan, installation by Elinor Saragoussi, is in the West Gallery.

AMA Events:
The HeART of Albany Festival is 10 am-5 pm on Saturday, Nov 4, 2023, at the Albany
Museum of Art. Admission is free for everyone.

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