Sammy Younge was the first youth killed in the civil rights movement. He was shot after using a whites only bathroom in the city of Tuskegee. At the time he was a veteran who was attending school at Tuskegee Institute. The mural was gifted to the city of Tuskegee through the Safe Haven after school program. This mural was apart of a Social Engagement class co-taught with MacArthur Fellow Rick Lowe.
Community Engaged Classroom
I have increasingly become interested in fostering broader relationships students have to their art practice. Young artists need to realize early in their career that they can engage methods of social practice and outreach in their creative work. Although these methods can engage complicated community interactions that are not often easily identified as art by the communities that are targeted, they can also take more traditional approaches as well. Community murals are a great place to engage this method of working and get young artists to think about how they can make artwork that can affect their local communities. On this page are several murals created in my painting classes and given as gifts to the local community. Before a mural is started the students are asked to interact with the group of people the painting is intended for. As opposed to just “plopping and dropping” they ask those people what they would like to see and do activities that can foster a shared experience. In the studio the subject matter is refined based on those interactions. This is done with the goal of enriching both the communities and the student’s appreciation for the powerful roles they can play in the world.