Older Adults + Multigenerational Learning

SI’s multigenerational class, Contemporary Art Topics (CAT), began in 2018 in partnership with the Educational Alliance Sirovich Center, a nearby center for older adults in the East Village. During the pandemic, SI embarked upon a new opportunity to engage adults of all ages, and connect the older adult students from Sirovich to a wider community through multigenerational classes.

Open to adults of all ages, SI’s Contemporary Art Topics program is a unique discussion-based course designed to investigate current themes and issues being explored by living artists today. Thematically-based and artist-led, these two-hour classes introduce concepts and ideas in contemporary art through lectures, guest artist talks, class discussions, “slow looking” at art, individual and group activities, as well as opportunities to share student artwork.

Past program topics have included: the four elements in contemporary art, contemporary artists creating urban space interventions, regenerative life cycles in art making, materials and processes, use of color in contemporary art practice, history of color materiality, wandering as art, craft and folk arts, and ritual in art.

Winter/Spring 2024 Contemporary Art Topics Class | Soil as Art: Elegy and Revival

Swiss Institute is pleased to offer a second soil and ecological justice focused class for this season of Contemporary Art Topics. This class follows our class from the Fall 2023, Soil as Art/Art as Soil, which explored soil-based relationships, lineages from the past, and the artists who presently consider them in their practice. It is not mandatory to have attended this previous class. We will be investigating new material and ideas and students from all backgrounds are welcome!

This class, Soil as Art: Elegy and Revival, will push beyond the past and the present by centering the human and non-human relationships with soil and earth via a future-focused mindset. How can soil-based relationships work in symbiosis? How can we embark on a process of healing that bears witness to a history that has demonstrated both persistent harm and tender care? Through discussion and artmaking, we will share our personal encounters and cultural connections with the earth. We will investigate artists, artwork, theories, processes, and practices (including social practice, design, and architecture) to explore these ideas in greater depth as a community of learners with a shared future. 

Artists will include Bjarki Bragason, Ariel Bustamante, Gabriel Chaile, Tamara Henderson, Carla Macchiavello, Kate Paterson, Dominga Sotomayor, Alfredo Thiermann, and many more. Additionally, we will delve into our own experimentation within the course theme through guided prompts and optional weekly readings and assignments, which may serve as inspiration for students’ individual interests and art practices.

This 10-session course aims to center BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and multigenerational artists from various backgrounds and mediums. 8 sessions will be virtual, and 2 sessions will be in-person field trips in NYC for local students.

This class is facilitated by SI Lead Educator, Julia Norton.

CAT is always free!

Program Dates: February 22, February 29, March 7, March 9 (trip), March 14, March 21, March 28, March 30 (trip), April 4, and April 11

Registration is now closed. To sign up for the Waitlist, fill out this form!

If you have any questions, please email education@swissinstitute.net.