Yesterday, Michelle Obama stopped by New Museum to promote her "Drink Up" campaign with WAT-AAH! and to check out the foundation's latest pop-up exhibit, entitled "Taking Back the Streets." The show features the works of artists like Shepard Fairey, Swoon, and Kenny Scharf, who embodied the First Lady's very initiative in their paintings and murals. The whole idea behind the project is to encourage kids to drink more water through street art. While it's safe to say that adults and children alike have grown desensitized to much of what they see in the media, "Taking Back the Streets," offers a refreshing new attempt at changing the way kids view health.
The invitation-only event kicked off yesterday and garnered much hype after FLOTUS made her appearance and signed a mural by pop artist Trey Speegle. The paint by number work features the words "Drink up!" written in blue, capital letters, which local eighth graders also helped paint.
Hopefully the First Lady's support of the arts will quell some of the flames President Barack Obama started a few weeks ago. Though the president has since apologized for his comments against art history degrees, FLOTUS seems to be a staunch advocate of creativity and the power of art. “Keep it up. You guys are role models for so many kids, the fact that you guys can be involved in something this huge and exhibit this kind of creativity all over the country is like a once in a lifetime thing," the First Lady told the children who also attended the event.
Though the pop-up show was housed inside New Museum, it was not actually affiliated with the contemporary art museum at all. “It is not a New Museum exhibit nor is it in any way related to the event," the New Museum's press office told ANIMAL over the phone.
In fact, "Taking Back the Streets" is a yearlong exhibition that will travel across the United States. On Feb. 22, the exhibit will be set up at WallPlay on 118 Orchard Street in New York and will be on view until March 1.