Launched in May, this week sees the Louis Vuitton's Young Arts Project inaugural Summer Academy kick off in conjunction with Hayward Gallery, the South London Gallery, Tate Britain and the Whitechapel Gallery at the Royal Academy, giving 30 young people aged between 13 and 25 the chance to get hands-on-dirty in the creative arts.
“It’s been so much fun to organise and the launch workshop was just brilliant”, says visual artist Jessica Voorsanger, the project’s director, speaking about Monday’s opening. “This programme revolves around portraiture, which I specialise in, and effectively these young people will be my assistants, helping me produce six portraits. These photos are going to be a follow on from a work I've been doing called the Imposter Series where I've dressed up as famous people. This week we’ve got some trips line up, we've got some people coming in and at the end of the week we'll have produced some photographs that’ll be published on a website the students will be making too.”
Jessica’s work focuses on deconstructing the relationship between fan and celebrity, and has recently exhibited at the ICA and The Whitechapel Gallery. Her new project, however, hopes to take things a step further by offering young people chosen from across London the opportunity to recreate famous portrait with the help of actors and top-flight industry professionals, thereby removing the mystique of the creative process.
“It's not just about art, either”, Voorsanger says. “We have an Oscar-nominee costume designers coming into help the groups create their characters, we also have an art critic, make up artists... every aspect of the project has inspirational level so that these young people can see that these jobs are accessible. What I'd like is that these young people can able to walk away from this project with a sense of optimism, not just about pursuing a career in the arts but any career”.
Keep an eye out for Dazed Digital's continual coverage of Louis Vuitton's Young Arts Project