Early this summer, NVAM Education welcomed teens from IMPACT Family Center who participated in a Creative Community workshop with veteran artist Stuart Hall. IMPACT and NVAM Teen Council members worked with Stuart to learn more about his art practice and what inspires him to make art. Primarily, they learned about his art intervention work called fleurs de guerre (flowers or war) and participated in making these poppy inspired flowers as well as consider where they would place these flowers as symbols of peace. IMPACT shared what they did with their flowers after the workshop as well as a film they made that reflects their experience at NVAM and with Stuart.
I place this flower at Impact Family Center because peace brings unity and Impact Family Center has a way of bringing people together as community.
I put this flower on my couch. The reason why I have put this on my couch is because this was a couch my grandmother gave to my family, and she passed away. I cherish this couch, and value it.(JPG 51-215 Sent in Previous email)
Every individual deserves to live a prosperous and healthy life full of blessings; the lighting was too bright so I couldn’t take a picture with the words showing. (JPG 7209)
I decided to place my Poppy at Robichaux Park , located on 9247 S Eggleston. In July a neighborhood friend was shot at this park 2 days before his college orientation, and died. I have a lot of friends that still go to this park , along with little kids. This is why I placed my Poppy here. This is a place where peace is needed.
I place this flower here for peace because we need better lives and better people that’s not killing each other over they most craziest things in the world.
I put this flower on my couch. The reason why I have put this on my couch is because this was a couch my grandmother gave to my family, and she passed away. I cherish this couch, and value it.
My flower will be placed at Altgeld Park, on the West side of Chicago. I practice football here in the mornings and there is a large homeless community. When I walk from the train, you see a lot of them in the stands of the football field just waking up. I place the flower here for peace in these peoples’ lives as they struggle living every day.
These flowers represent the love that we need to share the world because in order to be peaceful, you have to be loving and spread love to everyone and everywhere.
I put my flower on the stairs to show my steps to greatness.
Stuart is a fantastic person to work with. He’s so passionate about his work and what he does. He taught about appropriation and installation. I never had so much fun doing work before until I met Stuart. He’s easy to talk to and chill with because he is a chill person. At times, he can be a little too goofy but he’s still fun. I enjoyed being with Stuart. He has left a long lasting impact on NVAM Teen Council.
Over the past two weeks NVAM Teen Council has had the time to work with the featured artist, Stuart Hall, on his ongoing body of work entitled “Fleurs De Guerre”. Stuart has been an Artist and Curator in the Chicago Arts Community for over four years and spent 2 weeks with our Teen Council sharing his art practice with us but also teaching us how to make art that re-appropriates and activates spaces around us. Following our Fluers De Guerre project (which you can also read about on our blog) we developed an installation that would be set up in Humboldt Park. We divided into 3 groups. Each group focused on a current event or issue that they felt passionately about and came up with a gesture that represented and symbolized this cause.
1–A figure with a watering can:
“The watering can represents water usage and natural resources. The message of this piece is to represent the many ways people use water as well as the excessive use of water and the need for increased conservation of our natural resources.”- Erin A. and Chris F.
2– A figure holding signs over their face- each representing a different Social Media website
“We chose to make our silhouette represent social media because it is a big part of the world today. Also because a lot of people are letting it control who they are and how they behave. Our silhouette is holding symbols from different social media sites that cover the face to change our opinion of who he/she is.” -Daryl G, Asia J and Keunte W.
3– 3 figures with their hands up showing innocence, out to the side showing vulnerability and one pointing its fingers like a gun representing Gun Violence
“My group did a silhouette about gun violence. These silhouettes show how guns are used to hurt many people. Cops are killing colored teens and kids while gangs are killing other kids their age and harmless bystanders.” – Keon C., Jalean, Sema’J Y., Jessica T, Jessica D, Kayla, and Chris L.
We cut out silhouettes of these gestures and in only 3 days made 6 cut outs and over 200 flowers to install in the park! It was a lot of fun to set up the art outside and to experience how people walking around the park repsonded to the art. Most of the people we talked to really liked the work. It was very windy so we learned a lot about how to fix problems on the spot! The art work was left up in the park for 2 weeks.