Teenagers prepare to open art museum

Pop-up museum to explore issues, misconceptions about modern American teens

BETHSEDA, Md. - Have you ever looked at your teenager and wondered what on earth is going through their mind?

Well, a new exhibit in downtown Bethesda might contain at least part of the answer.

There are many meaningful messages being painted, built and cut together at the MO-CAT prior to its grand opening, but perhaps none are more important than this one. 

"Our generation has had the sort of negative stereotype of being obsessed with phones, technology and not necessarily having the same kind of critical thinking skills that older generations have, because we've always had everything done for us by technology. I think you can even see here how not true that is,” said Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School, senior, Lena Auerbach.

Each artist is fighting the stereotypes of contemporary teen laziness and indifference through one of these murals, exhibits or sculptures.

The museum will tackle a long list of important teen topics including drug use, suicide, female empowerment and embracing diversity through family heritage.

Other art pieces will take on more national issues such as frustration with the Trump Administration and the polarizing problem of police brutality.

"The administration and Donald Trump kind of see black issues as kind of on the side and not a big deal,” said Abreale Hopkins. "Even though black people make up a lot of America, and we add so much to the American culture and society in multiple ways."

Some of the pieces will challenge the viewers' comfort levels and might even be seen as controversial, which is exactly how these artists like it.

Most of these artists are high school seniors, but some local middle schoolers got in on the act as well.

The idea for the project was born in the mind of David Lopilato, an anthropology teacher at BCC, who has been so impressed by the kids' work that he's considering taking parts of the museum on the road.

The museum is open Thursday through Saturday until Dec. 16 and can be found next to the intersection of Norfolk and Wisconsin Avenues.

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