Yesterday, in a small press event held for the opening of “Taking Back the Streets” at the New Museum, First Lady Michelle Obama made a brief appearance to an excited group of New York City school children.
The First Lady arrived around 11 a.m. to greet the small group of invite-only press and participating students. Sonia, an eight grader from the Little Red School House & Elizabeth Irwin High School (LREI), read an introduction welcoming her and explaining why her class stood behind the project. “Young people can take control of their health,” she said, and explained that the students were honored to meet the First Lady and introduced the mural they had created as a feature the show.
The collaborative mural, done with artist Trey Speegle, is a commemorative piece for WAT-AAH! and Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up initiative, which encourages kids across the U.S. to drink more water, and features the tagline “You are what you drink and when you drink water, you drink up.”
The First Lady spoke with students individually, asking them how they felt they were affected by images in the media, and how we could begin to use those images for good. Some responses from the ambitious middle schoolers explained how lessons in school about pollution connected with the Drink Up initiative, and why water was so important to them.
Works on view included pieces by Vesa, Kenny Scharf, Swoon, and Damon Johnson.
— Regina Mogilevskaya
(All photos by Regina Mogilevskaya)