• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 20 August 2020



New York – Christie’s announces the second in a series of online exhibitions of artworks created by children participating in Studio in a School’s New York City Schools Program, which engages students from pre-school through twelfth grade at public schools and early childhood education centers in all five boroughs. Opening August 20, the online exhibition Pictures of Us: Portraits by the Children of New York City presents thirty portraits in drawing, collage, painting and printmaking, and celebrates the diverse communities that enrich life in New York City. At the same time these artworks foreground the specific qualities that make each of us singular, distinctive, and unique.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, which has reduced opportunities to visit physical exhibitions, Christie’s has partnered with Studio NYC to amplify the inspiring work of their students. At this time - as our communities call for justice and racial equity while grappling with a global pandemic - the optimism, positivity and joy reflected in these images is even more resonant. Christie’s is honored to host this virtual exhibition to display students’ masterpieces, as well as provide a larger audience to appreciate their achievements. 

Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC, comments “The portraits in this exhibition provide a powerful lens into the lives of our students. The nuances of emotion from pathos to joy is a reminder of their sensitivity and brilliance. The resulting images, through the elements of shape, line, and color, tell us more than a photo ever could. Together, these works form a collective portrait of promise for the next generation.”   

Dr. Vivian Pan, Chair of the Board of Directors of Studio in a School NYC, remarks “To witness the outpouring of expression that radiates from these artworks is a moving experience. The beautiful faces we see in these portraits exemplify the rich diversity of New York City and powerfully demonstrate that love of art is a universally shared value. As a proud alumna of this city’s public schools, it brings me joy to know that Studio in a School enables countless children to experience the power of art making as part of their formative school experience.” 



In 1977, when drastic budget cuts virtually eliminated the arts from New York City public schools, philanthropist Agnes Gund conceived a plan to restore visual arts instruction by engaging professional artists to teach in public schools.  In Ms. Gund’s words, “When we founded Studio in a School we wanted to help the children, and we also wanted to help artists. It was during the fiscal crisis in the late 1970s, and artists needed help too. We started with three public schools and Studio in a School was born." From art classes in three public schools that first year, Studio has grown to engage more than one million students through partnerships with nearly 1,000 public schools, community-based organizations, and cultural institutions nationwide.

For more than forty years, Studio has been a vital presence in New York City’s public schools, bringing the rigor and joy of visual arts instruction to students citywide, providing meaningful work experiences in the arts and culture field to teens and college students, and offering professional development in visual arts education to classroom teachers.  In recent years, Studio has successfully introduced its program models to cities across the U.S. while sustaining its presence in all five boroughs of the city.

Recognized repeatedly for its work, Studio was honored with the New York State Governor’s Award by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1988.  More recently, Studio received the 2017 Arts Education Award, one of the National Arts Awards bestowed by Americans for the Arts, as well as the inaugural Chapman Prize from the Council on Foundations in October 2018.

VISIT Pictures of Us exhibition and

LEARN MORE about Studio in a School

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

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