The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling hosts an annual artist in residence for artists who are committed to social engagement through their artistic practice and to working with the Museum’s primary audience of 3- to 8-year-old children. The program reflects our approach to engaging children by creating the means for them to connect with artists directly as they ask questions and discover their own artistic ideas. Children and adults will have opportunities to observe and explore the creative process with the artist as their guide.

Artist in Residence 2016 - 2017

Derek is an interdisciplinary artist who works in video/film, sculpture and painting, and currently resides in Sugar Hill. His work has been featured in group shows at Roberts & Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles, Sotheby's S2 Gallery in New York and Jack Bell Gallery in London. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Huffington Post and Brooklyn Rail. Derek received a B.A. degree from Morehouse College and a Master's Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in painting from Hunter College.  The search process that lead in partnership with The Northern Manhattan Artists Alliance and No Longer Empty. 

Derek will be developing new works in our space and have open studio sessions throughout the year as of October 1, 2016. 

Artist in Residence 2015 - 2016

Selection for the first artist-in-residence was facilitated through a partnership with The Laundromat Project (TLP), an organization with a 10-year history of managing residency programs. From a pool of 55 applicants, artist David Shrobe, a fourth generation Harlem resident, was selected as the 2015 Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling Artist-in-Residence. David is a Hunter College M.F.A., and current Joan Mitchell Foundation Teaching Fellow, whose paintings and installations are deeply influenced by the sights and sounds of his community.

David began his residency in February 2015, and led weekly art-making workshops with students at the Sugar Hill Museum Preschool through June.

Each week, David exposed the four-year-old students to a genre, art terms, and skills, reporting that, “their faces lit up every time I introduced something new.” In his work, David often uses found and recycled material, a practice also used at the Preschool. In his words: “Right away, I had common ground with the kids, and could adapt my nomadic mind frame of wandering through Harlem to seek materials to transform. I gave them a look at how I repurpose materials; and they shed a light on my practice as I watched them use the same materials in ways that I would not have thought of.” David often wove in the idea of storytelling: how to use art to tell stories about families, the Preschool, the neighborhood. Encouraging the children to “recognize the neighborhood as place that holds great value – a place to see and notice and discuss,” he felt that the residency became “a great way to give back to my community of Harlem.”

The workshops culminated in a collaborative project – a large collage portrait of Phyllis Wheatley, the first published African American woman and poet, which will become a permanent work on display at the Preschool.