These workshops are designed to give participants an opportunity to work directly with the artists of Studio K.O.S., creating art and exploring the many relations between literature, visual practice, and social/restorative activism. 


Past selections have included: writings of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, William Shakespeare, Harriet Jacobs, James Baldwin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, W.E.B. Du Bois, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Stephan Crane, Ralph Ellison, Giordano Bruno.


• Participant school/age range: middle school / high school / college undergraduate / graduate / post-graduate (Special programming also available for educators)

• Reading selections consists of advanced content but the message is appropriate for any age/level
• Demographic: underprivileged young people with limited access to arts programs or mentorship. Although any level of privilege can benefit greatly from this experience. Further, a mix of ages adds to the takeaway empirical knowledge

• Class size: 15-20 participants, keeping the class size small allows each student to receive one-on-one instruction and guidance with the artist


• Workshop runtime: 3-4 hours for a 1-day project and up to 3-4 day projects (2 hours per day) depending on scope and budget
• Studio K.O.S. selects reading material in advance and produces a list of art supplies and additional materials needed
• Permissions / Waivers: in order to allow photography of minors, releases for participation in creating an original work of art with K.O.S.


• Introductions to members of K.O.S. Will consist of either walkthrough of the exhibition or a short PowerPoint presentation
• Having original works by Tim Rollins and K.O.S. installed is highly encouraged but not necessary. This helps contextualize the practice and most importantly provides the participants with a real visual understanding of the permanence and magnitude of what can be accomplished when working together
• Participant introduction
• Participants introduce themselves, as the workshop goes on they often open up more and bond over personal experiences

workshop outline


The artists lead in an informal, “round table” style synopsis of the text, this is often supported by video clips and/or music as additional visual and audio aides (this is a “thinking outside of the box” approach - not all those who read retain information the same way)


• Both artists and participants take turns reading selected passages

• This intertwining of voices is extremely powerful to experience and witness. Everyone is an equal at the table - hearing / listening /participating in equal measure.
• Discussion: Intersectionality and how the text relates to the present - this can often touch on anything from current affairs, personal journeys, challenges /obstacles, hope, faith, the future.

art making

• The protocol differs depending on the scope of each particular project but typically participants are given the opportunity to each creates a piece of artwork, unique to them - the base layer is the physical text (actual pages/passages from the book) how each participant manipulates the pages with paint, ink, scissors, glue, etc. is entirely up to them.
• The relation between freedom of expression in literature/writing is manifested in the freedom of creating art from these pages - art-making is freedom, it is a visual form of expression, and there is power in that.


• At the end of the workshop, each participant’s individual pieces will be kept by Studio K.O.S. unless other arrangements are made. These pieces collectively form one overall artwork, in keeping with Tim Rollins and K.O.S. legacy and future. The artwork is a testament of the opening up of young minds to the power of human connection and the ability to transcend.