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For these teens, the future is theirs for the making

Woman talks to a group of students in an art gallery with rings on display.
Director of Collections and Exhibitions Brooke Garcia talks with aspiring artists about what to include in a portfolio to capture the attention of museum curators.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

You hit a certain age when this question crops up more and more. And it's OK to not have a concrete answer. Some high school students may know a general field they want to enter such as the arts but may not know much about the type of careers out there. Contemporary Arts Memphis provides a program that gives these teens an in-depth look at the various careers in the arts for teens in the greater Memphis area.

The Metal Museum hosted a group of young aspiring artists from Contemporary Arts Memphis to share with them the type of careers that exist in the arts and museum fields, from curators and preparators to artists and designers.

Five students gather around a glass display of rings.
Students from the Contemporary Arts Memphis program were among the last groups to experience the "RINGS!" exhibit before it closed.

The group was able to get a final look at the RINGS! exhibit before it ended and participate in a Q&A session with Brooke Garcia, Director of Collections and Exhibitions. The teens learned what curators look for when viewing an artist's portfolio as well as the importance of showcasing their work online.

Students also got to learn about the many forms that metal takes and the importance of finding quality art programs that provide internships and apprenticeships from Lead Blacksmith Jacob Brown.

The biggest takeaway from the visit was that with grit, a healthy dose of encouragement, and some research, these aspiring young artists discovered the future is theirs for the making.

A blacksmith talks with a group of students in the Smithy area of the Metal Museum.
Lead Blacksmith Jacob Brown talks to aspiring arts students about the large-scale projects the Metals Studios works on.

If you are interested in bringing your school group to the Metal Museum for a tour, please contact Portia White at

If you enjoyed reading this blog post, please consider supporting the Metal Museum now with a tax-deductible donation or by joining as a member.

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