This 20th installment of the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s biannual Wall Works program is a collaboration with renowned local artist and designer Karen Kimmel, founder of Kimmel Kids, who with this project promotes discovery and the integration of abstract thinking, while exploring color, shape, and form. For Art of Exchange, Kimmel introduces hundreds of kindergarden through 12th grade students to the art of stencils and encourages them to use her flora and plant-inspired shapes to create their own unique designs. During the exhibition, stencils, pencils, and notepads will also be available to the public for interaction with the installation and to encourage new designs.
Art of Exchange is the 20th installment of SMMoA’s award-winning public arts program. Wall Works is SMMoA’s longest-running free educational arts program, which connects acclaimed contemporary artists with the creative imaginations of local Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students. For each Wall Works program, SMMoA provides participating schools free of charge with art supplies, lesson plans, and instructions, including a Museum-produced video with the featured artist. To date, the biannual Wall Works has involved more than 6,000 students in grades K-12, 50 schools in 5 districts and 20 artists. Wall Works was awarded the inaugural 2012 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education from the California Association of Museums (CAM). The Superintendent’s Award recognizes the outstanding achievements in California museum programs that serve K-12 students and/or educators.
Karen Kimmel, founder of Kimmel Kids, has designed and consulted for many distinguished creative companies, including Fendi, Nike, New Editions, and Aardvark Letterpress. Most recently, Kimmel partnered with Creative Growth to curate a line of products for Marc Jacobs. She has exhibited her artwork at such galleries as Mary Goldman Gallery and Elizabeth Olivera Gallery in Los Angeles and Sarah Meltzer Gallery in New York, and has created activated sculptural installations for the Scottsdale Museum of Fine Art in Arizona, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Barbican in London, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in well-known publications such as Vogue, W Magazine, Paper Magazine, Arkitip, Surface, and Artforum.
Support for SMMoA’s education and outreach is generously provided by The James Irvine Foundation; Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission; and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Special thanks to Kimmel Kids and Bergamot Station LLC.