High School Art Students at South Kamloops Secondary really put their hearts into their recent class project. Starting with the belief: “Art changes people. People change the world,” a dedicated group of girls set their sights on women in poverty. After thoughtful research and dynamic class discussions, these junior art students believed they could create artworks to reflect, not just the problems girls and women face, but their belief in the strength of women and how they can be the catalysts of change.
Students were encouraged to look at different regions around the world and research some of the specific hardships girls and women endure. Next, students looked at the positive actions taken by humanitarian groups/organizations, empowering women through education and financial aid. The students quickly recognized that A LOT of people are actively involved; empowering, supporting and inspiring women.
The next step was image development and the question of how to arrange images and colours to create a compelling message; how to reveal hardships and yet suggest hope. In the end, this project engaged the students to think creatively and to think with empathy. For the students, the more they believed in the message, the more they challenged themselves to improve their technical skills and understanding of the principles of art. They really believed in the images they created, and in the potential to communicate something bigger than themselves. For me, it was inspiring to see this; to listen to their dialogue and watch as they created twenty five, diverse and uniquely compelling artworks!
In January, the students committed to posting one artwork a day to our blog, Make Art For Change. They worked through the challenging process of titling and writing artist statements to support their artwork. Then, using facebook and twitter we tackled getting the message “out there”. As a classroom teacher it is often my goal to get artwork viewed beyond the classroom walls, but getting it out to the world through the Internet was really exciting. Thank you to everyone who has viewed it so far and helped to share our message of Hope.