I Am a Young Artist and I Am at LACMA. Anything I Do Here is Art

July 18, 2012

Amelia, a 6 ½-year-old art enthusiast, expressive dresser, and accomplished whistler, recently completed two weeks at LACMA’s Summer Art Camp.  During her daily trips to the museum Amelia got to walk through the galleries and talk about what she saw with her teacher and fellow campers, as well as make art every day—everything from collage to drawings to video art. Last week the campers looked at Bruce Nauman’s For Beginners (all the combinations of the thumb and fingers), in which all that is visible are the artist’s hands making gestures as commanded by his voice.


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Bruce Nauman, For Beginners (all the combinations of the thumb and fingers), 2010, collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Artis, image courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York, © Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York,

In the work Nauman states “If I am an artist and I am in my studio, everything I do in my studio is art.” Amelia and her classmates used that as their inspiration in making a video about the definition of art. Like Nauman, they used only one part of their bodies and their voices. “We chose from Urban Light, the Spaghetti Noodles, the Rock, and the Fountain with the Circle Things and the Spray,” Amelia explained.  “I picked the Rock.” Once in front of Levitated Mass, it was up to Amelia to do her part in the video—snapping her fingers. “That was my idea,” she said. Here’s the result of the campers’ video making skills.

Samara Whitesides and Scott Tennent