Expose Yourself to More Art With These Tips from Kimberly Drew

Are you craving more art and culture in your world? Kimberly Drew, curator and online community producer for the Met Museum, reveals how to go into the new year with a different perspective on how to infuse your life with art.

Kimberly Drew is a fresh voice in the art world that's already managed to make an impact. The 25-year-old tastemaker's notable Tumblr and Instagram pages offer a broad look into Black contemporary art. And in July 2015, Drew was named online community producer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and runs the prestigious museum's social media accounts. Drew spoke to Essence.com about accessibilty, the importance of Black people exposing themselves to art and how anyone can delve into the arts this year. 

Art Resources are All Around You

UBUWeb, the Art Tattler archive, The Met Museum’s Timeline of Art History, and the Khan Academy’s Art History basics are great primary resources for those interested in a general survey of art history. If you’re at a more intermediate level and have a bit more time, exploring online collections is a great exercise in studying collecting trends, drawing your own connections between cultures, and discovering “overlooked” artists and movements. That said, there’s no wrong way to start. Like cooking, it’s all about seasoning (or, in this case researching) to taste. 

On the Women in Art That Inspire Her

I am constantly inspired by Thelma Golden, Director of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Anne Pasternak, Director of the Brooklyn Museum, and Amy Sadao, Director of the ICA Philadelphia. Golden, Pasternak, and Sadao are at the helm of some of the most innovative art programs in the country, if not the world. 

Pick Your Passion and Go From There

It’s difficult to suggest an exhibit, artwork, or book that could effectively appeal to every aspiring art lover, but I would definitely encourage anyone interested in art to ambitiously seek out whatever excites them. There are museums for everything: art, science, design, history, and much more. The first step is picking your passion.

It's Important to Expose Yourself to Art as a Black Woman 

In 1925, Arturo Schomburg wrote: “The American Negro must remake his past in order to make [their] future… History must restore what slavery took away, for it is the social damage of slavery that the present generations must repair and offset. So among the rising democratic millions we find the Negro thinking more collectively, more retrospectively than the rest, and apt out of the very pressure of the present to become the most enthusiastic antiquarian of them all.” Our cultural heritage is our greatest asset. We all have a role in offsetting the erasure of the global black experience and fostering new ways to promote and support black genius. 

What's Keeping You From Exploring the Arts?

Everyone should determine what’s keeping them from cultural spaces. Oh, you don’t want to go alone? Find a museum buddy. Oh, you’re not in the best spot financially? Check your local museum’s website and find free programs, visit a commercial art gallery (they are usually free), visit an art foundation (also, usually free.) Oh, you “don’t know enough about art.” Well, let me be the first to tell you that you’re brilliant, you’re worthy, and you’re welcome at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (online or in real life) anytime! 

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