Hear Our Voice: Social Justice Art Field Trip

Today 7th grade artists adventured to Pioneer Square to the Center on Contemporary Art, where we explored the powerful and transformative exhibit “Hear Our Voice: Visual Art Selections Featured in the Women’s March on Washington and in Seattle.” We learned about the collection from Executive Director Nichole DeMent, who gifted each of us with a beautiful poster at the end of our visit.  This experience helped connect us with important social justice movements happening right now, as well as got us thinking about how artists can use images, text, and layout choices to invoke strong emotions and inspire viewers to take action.  Soon enough, each 7th grader will be creating their own piece of social justice art!  Ask your 7th grader to describe some of the posters that stood out to them today, and see the sequence of photos below to get a sense of the experience.

Listening to Nichole 1

First, we gathered together to listen and learn from Artist, Photographer, and Executive Director Nichole DeMent, who told us the story of this collection and described the unique journey of this non-profit art gallery.

Looking at ArtStudents explored the gallery and reflected in writing and sketching on these questions:

What issue does this piece address?

How do the colors, lettering style, image, and layout help to communicate the message?

Pretend you are an art critic. What strengths would you highlight about this piece?

How does this piece inspire to take action?

Writing PostcardsStudents had the opportunity to write to Congresspeople on postcards provided by the gallery, sharing their thoughts on our current political atmosphere and how they hope our elected officials will direct their work.

    Looking at Art 2

The posters sparked thoughtful conversations, insightful observations, and excellent questions, deepening our understanding of how visual art can contribute to and transform culture.

7th Grade at CoCA

Get ready world, these young artists are ready to inspire the world to take action!

7th Grade at CoCA 2Special thank you to Ms. Lulu and Kyle for joining us on this very special field trip!

See below for a selection of our students’ favorite pieces (Thank you Mia for the photos!).  Artist names will be added ASAP.

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Creating Characters: Puppets

In partnership with Ms. Lulu in Performance Studies, 5th grade artists have been exploring the art of the puppet.  After viewing examples and discussing the ways puppets have contributed to cultural and social movements, students began to make their own handcrafted paper mâché hand puppets that represent their unique “Super(s)*hero” characters.

The process began by creating base forms of newspaper held together with masking tape, with paper tubes for the puppets’ necks.  At this point, it was difficult to envision how these could transform into beautiful, expressive characters!  Our artists pushed through, using tagboard and newspaper to build up their forms into dynamic sculptural creations with noses, snouts, foreheads, horns, ears, cheeks, mouths, and more!  The next step was applying multiple layers of paper mâché, working to create a smooth, even and durable surface.  Artists then painted their puppets, showing expression, personality, and mood through the eyes, eyebrows, and mouths of their characters.   Moving forward, artists will sew “outfits” for the puppets using salvaged fabric scraps and then attach the two pieces to create a finished puppet.  Come see the completed puppets in our mini culmination on Friday, February 17th!

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