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No Longer Empty’s Young Exhibition Makers is an exhibition and curatorial learning program for youth ages 14-19, led by Curator-Artist-Educator Catherine Feliz. The program focuses on curation, art, and social justice literacy, as well as professional development. Our programmatic activities cultivate an understanding of the exhibition process, logistics, communication, and critical thinking. This year, Y.Ex began with a focus on mental health and disability activism, which led into the virtual exhibition curated by the youth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants met with visiting curators, including Ashley James, PhD, Taraneh Fazeli, and BARTALK, and had virtual studio visits with artists such as Carolyn Lazard to develop their understanding of the field. In addition to writing a curatorial essay inspired by the youth, curator, educator, poet, and writer Danilo Machado also worked with the young curators to develop their writing practice as they progressed in their exhibition of youth art.

Y.Ex Program Goals

​The curriculum for Young Exhibition Makers is designed to be a youth-centered learning program that offers participants the opportunities and platforms to expand their critical thinking and communication skills through:

  • Increasing knowledge of the meaning, function, and significance of an exhibition.

  • Developing an understanding of exhibition-related careers and pathways in the arts. 

  • Interacting with curators, artists, and arts professionals to gain exposure to the field. 

  • Understanding the art world and the abilities to distinguish between museums, galleries, residencies, and public art. 

  • Learning about social justice, cultural and political literacy in order to unpack and create exhibitions.

  • Awareness about mental health and disability justice in order to envision potential solutions.

  • Contributing to NLE exhibition programming and engagements.

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