For The Kids - A Day at The Whitney With Hudson & Jameson Kroenig
Growing up to working class immigrant parents, my early interest and talent for art was discouraged. Instead what I heard from my folks was something along the lines of 'You're going to grow up and get a good steady job with lots of security'. Defiantly, instead of focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic, I would spend hours in and out of school creating my own comic books for my classmates. From my childhood to my early teen years, you could find me browsing the comic book sections in the local bodegas, in search of the latest comic edition for artistic inspiration.
You would think my folks would have nurtured this artistic curiosity. Not exactly. And can you really blame them. They came to America in search of a better life for us all. A career in the arts is not exactly a secure path to the American Dream. And who knows what my straight C average would have looked like had I not had their discipline to study harder. However there was zero encouragement of my artistic leanings. Instead of encouragement I would come home to find my comic book collection, the one that took me a short lifetime to curate, thrown out with the trash as I returned from my summer vacation.
However despite their best efforts to suppress my thirst for all things cultural, My artistic path would be set in motion years before my birth. You see, by some random series of events, my Trinidadian born mother, on her way to Minnesota on a nursing work-visa, had a brief stop-over in NYC. It was during this stop-over that she made the bold decision to stay here and make Bed-stuy Brooklyn her new home. Soon my dad would follow. Ironically, that decision to stay in NY, would do more for my artistic path, than anything they could undo.
You see, in this city, art is all around you. From the impromptu galleries curated by street artists and graffiti writers, to the grand architecture that form our city skyline, to the perpetual runways at every crosswalk displaying the latest fashions, to the symphonies of sound blasting out of boomboxes in the 70's. These same sounds that ushered in the birth of a movement that would later be known around the world as hip hop. In NY there are thousands of sanctioned and unsanctioned cultural institutions that you are as likely to find in an East Flatbush basement, as you would in the grandest concrete cathedral on 5th avenue. In NY culture seeps into your soul and calls out your name. Even now as I create a mobile luggage storage platform, that on the surface would appear to be just the kind of utilitarian idea my folks would celebrate, my artistic voice still finds a way out. Much of it can be found on these pages or on our social media platforms. But I digress...
One of my favorite memories growing up in NY was my class trips to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. That memory is what brings me back to The Met more than any other museum in the city. So as you embark on your trip to NY with your family, don't take for granted the cultural curiosity your kids may have. Yes your visit to the museum may be a brief memory for you and your kids, but for them like my younger self, those memories can play out over their lifetime in many positive and unexpected ways.
Here is an article from Fashion Week Daily about two brothers, Hudson and Jameson and their day at The Whitney.