Teenagers are taking over the National Gallery of Australia this Friday evening with a virtual event offering an evening of art, music and creativity.
The digital iteration of Art IRL - the National Gallery's program aimed and created by teenagers that was launched last year - will be hosted live across Instagram and other web-based platforms for a series of art labs. It will also include a line-up of young musicians live-streaming performances throughout the event.
It comes after the program's second after-hours, festival-style event had to be cancelled due to social distancing restraints.
"We wanted to ensure that we were still offering free and engaging ways for young audiences to explore the art, artists and ideas at the heart of the national collection and the National Gallery," gallery teen program producer Celeste Aldahn says.
"And we wanted to connect our audiences with other young creatives. We thought this was a nice intermediate offering while we're waiting to hear what we can offer onsite."
Friday's eclectic program has three online art labs on offer, including a crash-course in augmented reality by Canberra artist Jess Herrington, lessons in the fundamental and experimental techniques of portraiture by Sydney-based artist Abdul Abdullah and a workshop in the sound software Ableton by multi-disciplinary artist Corin Ileto.
"The National Gallery has a teen council which is about 15 great local young people from the Canberra region and they were interested in exploring a few different mediums," Aldahn says.
"Drawing and portraiture is a really big interest in young artists, and also in the digital realm people are becoming interested in how to build face filters and there was an interest in how to create soundtracks or sound art.
"It was decided with the teen council what the fields would be and from there we went to artists who are either in the collection and doing amazing stuff, or are inspired by the collection."
A benefit of transitioning the Teen Takeover program to the online space is that it is open to teenagers across the country, not just in Canberra, in a time when people are physically separated from one another. And according to Aldahn, it's because of this that digital events may continue as part of the Art IRL program in the future.
"It's been a nice opportunity for us to think about how ... we can ensure that we maintain some digital programs even when we start going back to running things onsite because it is really important that we stay connected to a national audience of young people, as the National Gallery of Australia," Aldahn says.
Art IRL's virtual takeover is on Friday from 6pm to 8pm and is for 13- to 18-year-olds. Capacity for online art labs is limited so to register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.