Our Wandering Thoughts

An Exhibition
curated by

Myrlanda Bens, Jason Candelario, Danni Castrillo, Jackie Cruz, Natasha Estrema, Lakisha McLean, Shamar Mitchell, Ruthy Oliveras, Jonathan Reyes, Tammie Rivera, Miguelina Sanchez, John Vega

Students of the Arts Benefit All Coalition Alternative (ABACA)
Curatorial Studies class

New York, New York


Our Wandering Thoughts is an exhibition of works of art that we related to in ways that made sense to each of us. The title refers to the process we went through when selecting the art for the exhibition. When you look at a work of art it triggers personal emotions and experiences. You are challenged to ask yourself questions about the artist's intention and your own response to the work. We invite you to share in this experience.

Our selection process was personal; we chose works that we identified with because of who we are. Our choices reflect our diversity; each work of art was selected for a different reason and tells a story about each of us. One thing all the art has in common is that they are all "deep." When we say something is "deep" we mean it is intense and powerful. We are trying to send a message.

We are one of the first generations to grow up with AIDS. This has made us more aware of what we need to do to be careful. We are educated about AIDS because we have to be. We are also concerned with being taken seriously, being independent, reaching our personal goals, finishing high school, and being "somebody" in the future.

To be a young person in this millennium is hard, especially in this country where although we have the right to be who we want to be, being a teenager of color or a "minority" means that you are judged not for who you are, or who you want to be, but by the way you look. This is one of the difficult issues that we have to deal with on a daily basis. We're treated as if we're uneducated and irresponsible. But we are complex individuals with many different sides -- we are students, sisters, brothers, lovers, workers, athletes, artists, caretakers. We are becoming adults and we are beginning the point of our lives where we have to take more responsibility.

We know that we have to be responsible for ourselves by knowing who we are. In this exhibition we not only are ignoring stereotypes about teenagers and AIDS but we are trying to break these down.

Arts Benefit All Coalition Alternative (ABACA) is a collaborative between four innovative not-for-profit organizations (Art in General, Artists Space, The Drawing Center, and Thread Waxing Space) and Satellite Academy, an alternative public high school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, whose purpose is to provide an in-depth art experience for New York City youth. ABACA partners believe that the benefits of understanding visual art--including developing one's critical observation, contextualization, verbal and written communications skills--are extremely important to the development of life skills. Now in its eighth year, ABACA is a model of collaboration, dedicated to integrating the visual arts across the school curriculum. The student Curatorial Studies course is one of several ABACA initiatives at Satellite Academy. Caitlin Cahill, is the Interim Program Director and Artist Educator at ABACA.

Visual AIDS: 526 w26th st no 510 new york new york 10001 tel: 212.627.9855 fax: 212.627.9815 email:

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