High Museum has free art studio for Atlanta teens on first Fridays

If your creative teen is looking for an inspirational art space, head to the High Museum this Friday.

Open Studio at the High Museum happens 5-8 p.m. the first Friday of every month (that would be July 1).

During the free drop-in event — meaning teens can arrive and leave any time they like — high-schoolers can experiment with charcoal, paint, metal, fabric and even duct tape. Students are also encouraged to bring in sewing projects they need help with.

"What's hard with teens is that they want an art class, but they can't commit to it. (This made) it hard for us to get a consistent turnout. Open Studio is held the first Friday of each month from 5 to 8 pm. It's a low commitment, and it's drop-in. They can come for 30 minutes and leave. It's been a successful model," said Erin Dougherty, head of public programs and community engagement at the High.

Shannon Green, the museum's teaching artist, comes up with the projects, Dougherty said.

"Teens can make whatever they want. They've taken T-shirts and recycled and restyled them. They've done chocolate painting and screen-printed totes," Dougherty said.

"Sometimes there will be groups of friends. It's fun and they also get to meet kids from other schools," she said.

The High has a group of students called the Teen Team that helps to facilitate Open Studio and other teen activities at the museum.

"The Teen Team consists of high school juniors and seniors. They do an application process in the spring. They're here eight weeks in the summer. They are summer employees, and they get paid," Dougherty said.

In addition to the Open Studio sessions for high school students, the High launched a seven-week summer arts camp program for children ages 6-11 that runs until Aug. 5.

The High has family-friendly activities nearly every day. Check out its website at www.high.org for all your options.