- Curriculum: Art | Social Studies
- Age/Grade: Above 14
- Subject: Drawing | Painting
- Materials: Pencils | Markers | Oil Pastels
- Institution: Washington Irving High School
- Location: New York, New York
- Duration: 5 - 7 Classes
High School students in the YMCA Teen Action Program at Washington Irving collaborated with Live Out Loud and professional artists, to celebrate the end of their PRIDE week by using art to express their ideas.
To help students express the concerns they have, and to allow them to find a means to raise awareness for these concerns.
To provide students with art historical references to activism and protest.
To encourage students to think critically about the distinctions between image and word.
To offer information about the late artist Keith Haring.
Mixed drawing materials
On Thursday, June 12th, 2008, the students in the YMCA Teen Action Program at Washington Irving collaborated with LIVE OUT LOUD and professional artists, to celebrate the end of their PRIDE week by using art to express their ideas.
At the beginning of each class, students introduced themselves by saying their name and identifying a social issue about which they are passionate.
Students then learned about artist Keith Haring's use of art as a medium to address issues that were important to him.
Following the style of Keith Haring, the students then designed artwork to express a clear message about a social issue. Leo Preziosi, Founder and Executive Director of LIVE OUT LOUD, had students work on a sending a succinct message using self-created symbols to express an idea.
In later classes, artist Stephen Broadway asked students to create a wearable T-shirt design that expressed a message about their cause, and artist Nicole Bouchard stressed the importance of having a clear and simple symbol that can quickly communicate a message.
The students overwhelmingly enjoyed the activity, often returning for another class. One of the students exclaimed: "This is so fun! I haven't done art like this since kindergarten." Another student had watched a video about global warming in a prior class and said: "it feels so good to be able to express myself after being worked up." Another student said that he is really passionate about ending domestic violence but rarely gets the chance to express himself during class. In between classes and projects, students were discussing Keith Haring's artwork as they looked at different posters and one student stated: "Can I meet him? I think we would have fun painting the city together." The entire project was a success and the students came away with artwork that was meaningful to them. Washington Irving High School's web site