We’ve said it before- the 10X10 Exhibit is not just another student art show. This exhibition, which takes place every winter, has a multifaceted process that not only allows for student artists to show their work in a Baltimore gallery that has exhibited artists like Ernest Shaw and Amy Sherald, this exhibit also teaches students critical thinking skills and how to communicate effectively. Each work of art is a window into the complexity of Baltimore City youth experience as each student interprets the annual themes in their own ways.
Since each student artwork is responding to a specific theme each year, they learn how to talk about their work and how their pieces fit within that theme. This teaches our young artists to explore the relationships between their artwork and the world around them through interpretation, inference, and explanation. They learn about medium, explore titles, and use this information to properly label each piece. The artist statements that often accompany the works, created by the youth curatorial team, give the viewer a deeper look into the minds of Baltimore City Public School youth.
That appreciation for youth voice is what inspired our youth curatorial program which provides a stipend for 3 to 4 high school students to serve as curators for the exhibit each year. These students dedicate their winter breaks to discussing related themes and looking for similarities throughout the works before designing the exhibition layout. The curatorial team crafts a joint curatorial statement after spending time with all the artwork. They have meaningful conversations about how each artists interpretation of the themes and share these thoughts during various exhibition related programs. These students are also able to develop their public speaking skills and they get a sense of what it’s like to be behind the scenes in an arts administration environment.
For the past two years, our partnerships with the 10X10 Exhibit have allowed us to create and distribute exhibit catalogs that feature each students’ work. By the time the show closes, students can say that that they are exhibiting artists whose works have been published in a catalog! on occasion, student work will be sold and this creates a great opportunity for art educators to teach their students how to value their time, effort, and materials to come up with a price to sell. Our hope is that we can continue to fund the production of these catalogs as they’ve become an immense source of pride for the student artists who have delighted in seeing their artwork officially published!
If you’re a fan of our 10X10 Exhibit, our Youth Curatorial program, or the catalogs, or you just love to see student artists celebrated, please consider supporting us so that these programs can continue to be successful year after year! Want to visit the online exibition? Visit: