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We Took the Met

June 12, 2015

The temporary-tattoo parlor in the Carson Family Hall. Photographs by Don Pollard

«All of the hype around last Friday's Teens Take the Met event led to an exciting turnout of 2,044 teens showing up for the fun! That night, I chose to go to three of the most exciting areas: the temporary-tattoo parlor in Carson Family Hall, the tote bag–decorating stations in the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court, and a number of activities in The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

First I went to the tattoo parlor, which was decked out with dramatic lighting, music, and decorative signs, and full to the brim with people having a good time. There were five tattoos to choose from: the classic "Teens Take the Met!", "Awesome" in stylized lettering, a paintbrush, and "It's only temporary" in playful cursive and vibrant colors. I chose to get the paintbrush on the underside of my arm, and my temporary-tattoo technician was swift. After I was done (and looked considerably cooler), I made my way past Nolen Library, dubbed the "loud library" for the evening, where window drawing had officially kicked off.

Teens writing on the glass walls of Nolen Library

Decorating a tote was next on my to-do list. As I headed to the first floor, I felt the energy of Teens Take the Met as it carried throughout the Museum. I stopped by the New York Public Library's Claymation station and was happy to see a crowd of participants creating cool animated films that were pretty interesting. I turned and finally saw the tables filled with tote bags and people gathered together sharing materials and exchanging compliments on each other's stylistic choices. Tote bag making was therapeutic; the relaxing natural lighting, cheerful background conversation, and ability to focus on creating modern geometric designs with fabric markers created a good environment to sit down and relax in.

Teens smiling at the the New York Public Library's Claymation station

Satisfied with my free tote bag (now the envy of my mother and brother), I then headed toward The Temple of Dendur, and as I passed through the galleries of the Department of Medieval Art, I found the MediaLab's set up. Digital media artist Isabel Paez created Musical Benches—an audio and visual experience using a tune inspired by medieval music split up into four parts: two violas and two cellos. As a violinist, I was interested in trying it out. When a person sat on one of the four seats, one of the four instruments played and the seat lit up. We had to sit on all four seats to play the entire tune.

Teens trying out digital media artist Isabel Paez's Musical Benches in gallery 305

I then headed to The Charles Engelhard Court, where 3D Systems amused guests with some extremely cool creations and Titan Theatre Company's Battle of the Bards echoed throughout the room in all of its entertaining, witty glory.

A teen admiring one of 3D Systems's 3D-printed objects

Finally, I made my way to my last stop—The Temple of Dendur. There were a total of four activities at The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing that provided plenty of opportunities for teens to engage in challenges, collaborate with one another, express themselves, and customize more giveaways.

My experience there truly sums up what my entire night was like. Within the Museum, teens were building, drawing, cartooning, making buttons, taking in the striking view of Central Park, and letting loose with their friends.

Teens becoming superheroes with El Museo del Barrio in front of The Temple of Dendur

That, in a nutshell, is what Teens Take the Met is all about—an awesome evening of activities that lets you see the incomparable wonder of The Metropolitan Museum of Art as you've never seen it before. It was fantastic, and I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that it will happen again soon!

Check out #metteens for more photos. Keep an eye on this fall for more details!

Sage undefined

Sage is a member of the Museum's Teen Advisory Group and was a participant in the 2013 3D Scanning and Printing Summer Intensive for teens aged 15 through 18.