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Community Engaged Classroom

I foster broader relationships students have with their art practice and the world around them.

Young artists must understand early in their careers that they can engage in social activism and outreach through their creative endeavors. These methods may involve complex community interactions that are only sometimes immediately recognized as art by their target communities. Still, they can also encompass more traditional approaches. Community murals serve as an excellent platform for this type of work, encouraging young artists to consider how their creative skills can have a tangible impact on communities. The murals featured on this page were created in my painting classes and offered as gifts to cities and communities across the state. Before starting a mural project, students engage directly with the intended community to understand their desires and needs. Questions asked to our partners include: What story do you want to tell? Students actively involve the community instead of simply imposing their ideas, seeking their input and feedback. This collaborative approach fosters a shared experience that is centered around community needs. The subject matter is then refined in the studio based on these interactions. These projects are designed to enrich both the communities they serve and the student's understanding of the significant roles they can play in the world.  In addition, this is an opportunity as educators to teach our students how to work together, and collaborate. Required for most future jobs, this is not a skill art programs usually, concentrate on developing. Mural assisngments and classes allows opportunities to fill that crucial hole in academia.

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