Friday, January 29, 2010

Quilting for Social Justice workshop at MICA!

Hi everyone! This is Sara - one of Dr. Gaither's graduate art education students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I am excited to share with you some images from a quilting workshop that Dr. Gaither facilitated two weeks ago to a group of Graduate Art Education and Community Arts student at MICA.

The title of the workshop was "Quilting for Social Justice", and was an opportunity for us to see examples of Dr. Gaither's work, hear about her thought process (as well as artistic quilting process), and experiment with quilting materials. Ultimately, all of the participants left with ideas that we plan to implement in our classrooms and community centers this coming semester as we complete our student teaching and community-based internships. The resulting student work will be part of a display at MICA in April to coincide with the National Art Education Association's (NAEA) 2010 National Conference, titled "Art Education and Social Justice".

To begin, we brainstormed the meaning of the words "Social Justice" and then created a list of topics that all fit under that theme and could be used in a quilt project.Here's a close up of some of the ideas and thoughts that we came up with:
We then each chose a topic to focus on - some of the topics were: family roles, identity, idiosyncrasies, health care reform, women's rights, literacy, teenage culture and more. We discussed our ideas with our fellow workshop participants, sketched out a few ideas on paper, and then were "let loose" to dig through bins of colorful material and embellishments to design our our quilt squares.Here are some photos of some of the participants working on their quilt squares:

At the end of the two day workshop, we shared our in-progress quilt squares, and had a discussion on how to implement a "Quilting for Social Justice" themed art unit in our own classrooms and community centers. It was great to see all of the different issues people chose to address and the different quilt-making techniques each person used. Dr. Gaither has inspired us to bring this kind of art-making experience to our students - I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Keep an eye out for a post with more information on the gallery show - the NAEA National Conference will be in Baltimore in mid-April, and the show will be up at MICA during the week of the conference. We hope to see you there!

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