BY ABDISADIK AIDRUS
Curious about all those posters hanging in the North Resource Center? Continue reading to discover what they're all about!
One of the great challenges today is that we often feel untouched by the problems of others and by global issues even when we could easily do something to help. We do not feel that we are part of a global community, part of a larger "we". The art students in Art Fundamentals B, however, have taken on the challenge to defy that sentiment.
Art Fundamentals B is a new class at Apollo taught by Mrs. Burris. The class is open to students of all grades and is based on themes that center around how art impacts communities. Both the fundamental classes, A and B, offer students the chance to explore a range of media and processes encouraging students to develop their own personal voice and that is exactly what these creative students have done.
Using paint and brushes, the current participants of that class have set out to “depict the tough and poignant issues of society” in an assignment inspired by Keith Haring, an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war.
A Sample Gallery of Paintings from Keith Haring
More Than Just Paint
The goal of the assignment as Mrs. Burris recounts, was to have students use basic colors, shapes, and design principles to communicate a message. By doing this, the art mitigates the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing. A painting may be just physical pigments of color applied to a canvas, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. It can make the world felt. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement, and even action. When we are touched, we are moved; we are transported to a new place that is, nevertheless, strongly rooted in a physical experience. We become aware of a feeling that may not be unfamiliar to us but which we did not actively focus on before. This transformative experience is what the art students sought to display through their posters. If you have not seen them yet, they should be at the top of your to-do-list.
Visit the North RC to See MORE Inspiring Art!
The art posters are currently hung in the North Resource Center and are meant to be inspirational and celebrate creativity instead of simply “being locked in a drawer and not fulfill their potential of displaying the hurdles faced by the world.” These art students have exploited the ability of art to summarize social issues such as racism, sexism, consumerism, injustice, absurdity, and war and celebrate resiliency and strength without words.
They have used their creativity to create a point of contact that takes us beyond an us-and-them mentality to a broader idea of what constitutes "We."
And the best of it all is that, they’ve enjoyed the process.
The Impact of Art
Sometimes, the motivation of an artist is nothing more than to provide beauty, joy, or laughter into our lives. Other times, the art is specifically created to move our emotions, appeal to our hearts, make new ideas plausible, and shift our worldview to align with the artist. For this reason, we must treat it with great respect. Poetry, stories, music, dance and painting can widen our horizons. They can introduce a view we hadn’t considered and steer the course of our life in new directions. Art has opened up the eyes of the world to great injustice and inconsistencies throughout history. It’s impact is invaluable.