Vision Quilt Showcase at NVAM: Creative Community YOUmedia

On September 24, NVAM welcomed Vision Quilt founder Cathy DeForest to the the museum to present and discuss the work made by teens from throughout the city of Chicago during the summer of 2016.  Teens from Woodson and back of the Yards YOUmedia branches as well as the NVAM Teen council and community members gathered to share resources, reflect on the work made by students and hold dialogue concerning the ongoing trend of increased gun violence in Chicago and around the country.

During the showcase, young artists spoke of their personal experiences with gun violence both directly and indirectly.  Students from IMPACT family center shared about the frequency and subsequent frustration with gun violence in their neighborhood while NVAM Teen Council member Camile was moved to tears when she described the empathy and fear she feels knowing that youth and families are being killed in her city through gun violence.

“How many here have been affected by gun violence?” asked Cathy DeForest

Along with youth, community advocates listened and shared inspiration for hope for the future.  A mother of a child killed by gun violence read a poem while others shared insight into community involvement opportunites to make an impact and create positive change.

 

After the presentation the panels will remain on display at NVAM through the end of the month and then be made available at rallies, community meetings and  public display.  Learn more at www.VisionQuilt.org

From IMPACT Family Center:

It was an awesome #ConnectedLearning experience for IMPACT Family Center teens to participate in the Vision Quilt program with National Veterans Art Museum and YouMedia @ Chicago Public Library.
The used art in making panels for Vision Quilt to express themselves about #GunViolence.
Here is a photo essay.
Teens have many social/emotional issues and a voice about #ChicagoGunViolence.
Thanks
Hive Chicago
MacArthur Foundation
Mozilla Foundation
Chicago Housing Authority
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

 

Vision Quilt: Woodson Regional Library

In partnership with Vision Quilt, Chicago Public Libraries, Impact Family Center, Hive Chicago, and Chicago Community Trust, the NVAM Education team Christine Bespalec-Davis and Moki Tantoco hosted a series of workshops with teens to reflect of the impact of gun violence in their personal lives and in their communities at the Woodson Regional YOUmedia.

Teens are introduced to the Vision Quilt Project. Christine shows examples from NVAM Teen Council Vision Quilt panels created earlier in the summer.

Teens look at the AIDS Memorial Quilt presented on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1987 as an introduction on how many individual voices can come together to empower and inspire change. The teens are read Kim Stafford’s poem, “Proclamation to Peace” before sharing their experiences and opinions about gun violence.

 

 

Teens generate possible solutions to preventing gun violence through open discussion. These ideas are transfered into sketches on newsprint before finalizing onto Evolon 18″x 24″ panels.

 

 

  

After completing their Vision Quilt panels, teens share-out with the group their statements about the images and techniques used to create the panels. Examples include how rapidly news is spread through the modern form of communication of visual language, how gun violence tears apart families, that victims of gun violence are not only those who loss their lives, but family and friends, and how the targets of gun violence are predominantly young black males.

Teens from Impact Family Center and their panels.

Eric Garcia visits the Back of the Yards CPL branch YOUmedia

Teens from the Back  of the Yards YOUmedia visited NVAM in July at the beginning of their summer Creative Community workshop series. Operation Mom’s Couch, a solo exhibition by local artist and veteran Eric Garcia was on exhibition .  Through out the course of the Creative Community workshops, BoY teens made art in response to the NVAM collection as well as in relation to the art made by Eric Garcia including development of superhero characters that relate to personal stories or issues of importance to the teens, developing short comic strips and narratives and designing comic book covers.

 

These finished projects as well as other works in progress were shared with Garcia when he was able to visit the branch in August. Along with sharing the process behind his work, Garcia shared how his work has developed over time and offered insight into how to work with changing ideas and influences.  Teens and youth in the program used this inspiration to decorate the YOUmedia space by adding their superheroes to the glass windows that make up the walls around the space. Overall everyone had a ton of fun and learned a lot about ways art can be used to share ideas through our personal stories as well as humor.

YOUmedia: Back of the Yards Creative Community Workshops Summer 2016

Summer programming at Back of the Yards will be split between curriculum focused on the NVAM Permanent Collection and the Operation Mom’s Couch Exhibition currently on display and the Vision Quilt project founded by Cathy DeForest of Washington state.

Students at BoY are predominantly Latino, or middle school- early high school age.  According to CPL YouMedia staff, these youth have been regularly and directly influenced by gang and gun violence in the neighborhood which has some of the highest rates of gun related deaths in the city (this is also true of the Woodsen branch in Roseland where we will also be running programs this summer.)

Weekly goals:

  • 15-20 youth engaged per session
  • Create a cohort of 10+ youth that regularly attend weekly sessions
  • Complete weekly as well as full program projects
  • Gather feedback from participating youth, non participating youth and CPL staff weekly
  • Gather data at beginning and end or summer program from participating and CPL staff
  • Weekly reflection by NVAM staff at each CPL location of programming
  • Document and share on NVAM Outloud as part of working in the open model

Resources:

  • NVAM Staff: Christine Bespalec-Davis
  • Materials provided by
  • NVAM
  •  CPL
  • Vision Quilt
  • Funding staff hours
  • Hive
  • CPL- Non funded partner in development of YouMedia programming around the city of Chicago to underserved neighborhoods
  • Beginning Summer 2016 to 3 branches
  • Expanding in 2016-17 school year and following summer

Expected outcomes for youth as they engage with the NVAM Curriculum:

  1. Greater understanding of teh real impact of war through th eeyes of those who were there.
  2. Learning to look- utilizing teh NVAM permanent Colelction adn current exhibitions to interpret meaning and the ways in which art shares a story unique to the artist and to the audience.
  3. Meet artists actively sharing stories through art making
  4. Feel confident in sharing ideas and stories through artmaking

Expected outcomes for youth as they engage with the Vision Quilt Project:

  1. Students will view Vision Quilt panels made by a variety of people and reflect on the impact of gun violence on their personal lives and in their communities
  1. Students will generate possible solutions to preventing gun violence through short visual and written exercises, followed by discussion.  These activities will allow students’  voices to be heard and introduce the power of art to create dialogue and social change
  1. Students will create their own 18 x 24 panels, with modeled, guided support.  These Vision Quilt panels will be displayed and celebrated at the Camp Sweeney Open House on June 24, 2016
  1. Students will offer ideas on how to involve their families in making Vision Quilt panels in the future

Inspiring kids about the Vision Quilt:

The Vision Quilt is a national grassroots project using the power of art to prevent gun violence.  You will be  creating panels for the Vision Quilt using spray paint, drawing, painting, stencils and the power of writing, with visiting artists to help.

No art experience is needed.

Your Vision Quilt panels will be displayed at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago in the fall of 2016. Panels made in Chicago will stay in Chicago and be displayed in libraries, community centers, and places of worship. 

Logistics: Students will participate in 8+ sessions of 2 hours each. The model for each session will follow the model of:  Look, Dialog, Make.

June 28- Session 1 NVAM Curriculum

Introduction: NVAM Permanent Collection and Operation Mom’s Couch

Youth are introduced to the NVAM permanent collection and especially Operation Mom’s Couch.  Slideshow from online sources nvam website, nvamoutloud and Eric’s website.

Impact:Art of the Comic Book Cover

  • Looking more closely at examples of comic book covers by Eric Garcia
  • Students break down the elements that make a successful  comic book cover and design a sketch for a super hero comic book tat include: name, superpower, mission , location , etc
  • Finished drawings were hung up in the space.  Proposal tp make the windows of the space into a comic book emerged
  • Prep for Field trip

July 5- Session 1 Vision Quilt Curriculum

  • Kris shared links to research and learn more about the Vision Quilt and the AIDS quilt
  • These links are meant to help teen understand the inspiration behind their project and provide inspiration for preliminary sketches.  Next session will show examples of the VQ and begin more directed drawing and development

July 12- Session 2 NVAM Curriculum

  • Review visit to NVAM
  • Surveys completed
  • Show examples of VQ—look at any sketches of ideas
  • Begin plan for comic book windows!

Summer Wrap up:

  • Finish Quilt– document and critique
  • Meet with Eric Garcia-
  • Critique comic panels and add art to the windows!
  • Prepare for Vision Quilt Showcase at NVAM

The Great Artdoors: T-shirt Therapy

Today for the Great Artdoors, teens looked into the NVAM collection at Regina Vasquez, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, and and her work with Fatigues Clothesline. “Fatigues Clothesline is a vehicle which bridges a gap between survivors and their family, their therapists and the advocates who are advocating for us in Washington DC by providing communication, symbolism, awareness and Change regarding military sexual trauma. By allowing our survivors to be heard once and for all!” We discussed the seriousness of this issue, the importance of Fatigues Clotheslines work for the victims and spreading awareness, and how our choices with clothing are impactful. Clothing is used as our personal identifiers, whether that be our choice of brand, make, or imagery.

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“My t-shirt is covered with colorful words that I use to define myself such as sensitive, proud, devotion, commitment, and friendship. The words are covered with hands. The hands are representative of how other try to hide me behind their own perceptions.

-Hunter // 17 // Westinghouse College Prep

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“I feel like what Regina Vasquez is doing with Fatigues Clothesline is for a very good cause. The fact that we need to speak up more about military rape is empowering. I completely understand that, more than anyone else possibly could, without getting into details, this is a really important issue to me. Rape is serious.”

-N.G. // 15 // Illinois Online High School

And We’re Back & It’s Cold: The Great Artdoors 2015

If snow days will not stop teens from heading to YOUmedia, a frozen Chicago will not stop us from making art! The Great Artdoors, for new readers, is a public art workshop series hosted by YOUmedia and the National Veterans Art Museum. Each week we have one hour workshops taught by an NVAM teaching artist. Each workshop is centered around creating public art in Chicago and connecting to the NVAM’s mission to create a greater understanding of war experience.

For the first workshop of 2015 we headed straight into the cold! The teens were introduced to the NVAM.org online collection, looking at veterans artists that use moldmaking techniques such as Marcus Eriksen, U.S. Marine Corps, Persian Gulf War (Kuwait), and Jim Leedy, U.S. Army, Korea. We discussed how what moldmaking is and how artist use it as a technique to get extreme details and create mass multiples.

Angel in the Desert
Angel in the Desert by Marcus Eriksen
The Earth Lies Screaming and The Atomic Skull by Jim Leedy
The Earth Lies Screaming and The Atomic Skull by Jim Leedy

We also looked at Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo‘s Minimum Monument installation of 5,000 “melting men” at Chamberlain Square, Birmingham on August 2, 2014 to commemorate victims of WWI. The ice figures were placed out with the help of volunteers and left to melt in the sun.

Minimum Monument by Nele Azevedo
Minimum Monument by Nele Azevedo

Using dental grade alginate (a food-safe, seaweed based, inexpensive, moldmaking material), the teens thought of symbols to create molds of and cast in ice to place in public space in the loop. Some of the symbols included peace signs, hearts formed from hands, and palms.

Here are some reflections from the teens about the workshop:

The Great Artdoors

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The National Veterans Art Museum and YOUmedia have partnered together to create The Great Artdoors: a public art workshop series! Teens are invited to participate in the drop-in workshops every other Wednesday from 4:30-5:30PM at YOUmedia on the first floor of the Harold J. Washington Library. Get a preview of what the teens are doing on the Great Artdoors window in the front of the library on Jackson Blvd!

To recap: teens have had a walking tour of the loop, identifying and discussing commercial vs. fine art public art as well as exploring and photographing possible places for creating public art. Teens were introduced to different artists working with graffiti arts including Iraq veteran artist (U.S. Marine Corps) and Hip-Hopper Melvin Lyons. Teens discussed the artists’ processes, how public art can be large scale and intensively planned with a team or more spontaneous and individual, what is legal vs. illegal, and also looking directly at the graffiti laws in Chicago. Teens collected images that represent or inspires them and used these images to make packing tape image transfer and practice wheat pasting.

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Here are some reflections of YOUmedia teens on the Great Artdoors:

“I’ve had a wonderful time with Marcus and Moki during my few weeks in The Great Artdoors. I’ve made tape transfers, wheat pastings, and even some calligraphy! I can’t wait to see what projects they come up with in the future.”

-Caleb, 16

“My experience with the workshop so far has been great. I learned how to make wheat paste and I also learned how to reach my inner creativity and embrace it. Like: I liked the wheat-paste activity where I slapped my image on the pillar. Dislike: the breeze when we went out on the field trip. Suggestions: We could spray paint actual walls. Learned: How to get in depth with your creative side and express it doing creative things.”

-Semira, 14

“We went out in the neighborhood about a month or two ago and we looked at street art, murals and sculptures. I like how we keep everyone involved; like how Moki, Marcus, and Daniel keeps everyone involved in the activity. I disliked how we didn’t have enough time to see everything. “

-Maurice, 16

A week without teens…..

It’s been a quiet week here at NVAM. I came in Tuesday in a rush to get things done by 1pm only to realize that the program had ended and I wouldn’t be greeted by the usual sounds of rummaging through art materials, shaking of spray cans and all the smiles and laughter I looked forward to every afternoon. *sigh* The work space is still filled with all the residual art making bits and pieces– sketches and practice pieces, folders of notes and idea maps.  I MISS OUR TEENS!!

 

The good news…… August 14 we will it will be #25memories part 2 as we showcase all the amazing art made by the teen apprentices at the Destination Chicago event at the Chicago Cultural Center from 11am-3pm!! (come by and visit us!  We are showing tons of work and the blog right next to our partners YouMedia!)

 

AND!!! Teen council will start up in September! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for details! (and email education@nvam.org if you or someone you know is interested in signing up!)

YOUmedia: They Things We Carried

Way way back when it was cold in Chicago (winter-ugh!)  YOUmedia was working with NVAM teaching artist Carolyn Hoerdemann making art in response to our permanent exhibition They Things They Carried, inspired by the book of the same name written byTim O’Brien.  This coming September we will be unveiling a new TTTC exhibition with digital and hands on interactive components, art and artifacts paying tribute to those who served in Vietnam and continue to serve today. Take a look back at some of the artwork and interactions made by YOUmedia teens in early 2014.

(Follow these links! https://www.flickr.com/photos/youmediachicago/sets/72157644926001556/

https://learni.st/users/349298/boards/65970-youmedia

YOUmedia Workshop @ NVAM!

On Tuesdays, high school students from all over Chicago participate in workshops hosted by NVAM teaching artist Carolyn Hoerdeman at YOUMedia, located in the Harold Washington Library downtown.  On February 25, 2014 these students visited NVAM to participate in an art making workshop lead by resident artist and veteran Erica Slone and education coordinator Christine Bespalec-Davis.