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The Many Benefits of the Andy Warhol Museum’s Youth Arts Council
Written by Joshua Yoon | Published. 2021.05.13 16:47 | Count : 516
[Photo of the Campbell soup inspired invitation for YAC guests (April 15, 2021).
Photo courtesy of Joshua Yoon]

In the COVID -19 era, people are restricted from doing certain everyday activities, which causes boredom and even depression. The Youth Arts Council (YAC) of the Andy Warhol Museum, however, shows that there are opportunities to be had even with the disadvantages posed by the pandemic. I was fortunate to be able to witness how the YAC can help students and young people grow into their roles as the future’s leaders as well as simply enjoy themselves.    

[Photo of my YAC show and tell card. Photo courtesy of Joshua Yoon]

For the most part, the YAC and other programs like it have been relegated to obscurity.  Not many people know about it, even in the Pittsburgh area, which is where the program began. Embarrassingly, I, as someone who loves to draw and lives in Pittsburgh, did not know about the YAC until I started researching the Andy Warhol Museum. I became interested in the YAC in the summer of 2020, when I was bored from being stuck at home with nothing to keep myself entertained: it was to the point that I was voluntarily studying for the SATs out of sheer boredom. After I joined the YAC, we did everything online via Zoom. Each meeting lasted two hours (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) and had about 20 participants. Most of whom joined because they, like myself, were interested in art and Andy Warhol, and simply wanted to find a community to interact with. We started by introducing ourselves and then doing some general activities like show and tell and sharing new art techniques and personal experiences. These activities are not long, but nevertheless they help students learn from each other and about one other’s culture, ethnicity, and thereby forge personal bonds. Friendships were more strengthened by working together on projects, such as billboards for the museum and our personal creation. Although separated physically, we helped each other by talking about what we needed to improve and encouraging each other on our strengths. We also talked about how we created our work and where we each draw our inspiration from.

[Photo of my own drawing for YAC. Photo courtesy of Joshua Yoon]

I discovered new techniques, such as screen printing, metalwork, and various types of photography. The most important activity of the museum was learning about Andy Warhol. Although the program was not dedicated to teaching a full history of Warhol, it did dedicate quite a bit of time to understanding the artist and how his work reflected his. Interests, like his love for movies and commercializing ordinary objects. One of the things I was most stuck by was how Warhol died and how he became “fascinated by violent death,” as can be seen in his painted images of skulls and guns

Overall, the YAC offers a chance to make friendships and fun, even without in-person interaction. Programs such as the Youth Arts Council for the Andy Warhol Museum need more recognition for their defying of the obstacle created by COVID-19. In this pandemic era, the YAC personal and artistic growth for teens.


Joshua Yoon 
Grade: 11th
Pine-Richland High School

Joshua Yoon  student_reporter@dherald.com

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