C•A•Re

Community Arts Research

Saginaw High School

RTEmagicC_shs-wc07_03

“Finding Our Center: An Interactive Art/Writing Workshop”

Winter 2007
Medium:
Digital. Assembled in Adobe Photoshop, output on vinyl.
SVSU Art Students Involved:  Art 499 Digital Community Mural Workshop: David Young and James Zimmer III.  

In the winter of 2007, twelve Saginaw High School students came to SVSU's campus for our day-long workshop. The students were given tutorial sessions in the SVSU Writing Center. The high school students were partnered with university students from English 383: The Art of Tutoring Writing and with volunteer writing center mentors, who worked one-on-one to give these students feedback on their writing. After lunch, the university and high school students went to the Art Studio, where SVSU students gave a series of “how-to” art presentations, after which the students created their own artwork.

During the discussion of the mural, these students talked in great detail about the challenges they, and their fellow students face: drugs, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, apathy, gang violence. One high school student wrote, “This workshop allowed me to see that one person’s voice can really make a difference. This is the first time anyone has really ASKED us what the problems are and how to fix them.” The SVSU students responded similarly, “It was great to understand how much harder it is for some kids to even get to college.”

This mural was hung at Saginaw High School in May 2007; the dedication involved both SVSU and SHS students talking about the experience.