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NYC Exhibit Spotlights Art in Hard Economic Times

by Claudia Morell
A A
Painting from the Great Depression drawn by 12-year-old
Lucy Menga, Children's Museum of the Arts

A new art exhibit in Lower Manhattan opens up a 75-year-old capsule of New York City history.

The Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo’s “At Within Reach” exhibit documents how hard economic times shape the way young people see art.

The collection showcases original paintings created by children during the Great Depression alongside current artwork created by 19 New York City children today.

The nineteen children who participated ranged between the ages of nine and 14 years old, and were selected from local public schools around the five boroughs for the free program. The children learned painting techniques, and learned about how children during the Great Depression made their art.

Children’s Museum of the Arts executive director Dave Kaplan said these works of art are helping to document history. “Depressions and recessions come and go, yet there’s still poor people in the city. What’s really cool about working with young people is they don’t see the world the way adults choose to define it.” Kaplan said the children painted what they thought might not be around in the next 20 to 30 years, like books and book cases.

The exhibit will be on display until June 5th.

WFUV's Taylor Zimmerman and Robin Shannon contributed to this article.

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