The Hinsdale Center for The Arts had invited us out as guest speakers alongside Chicago based Sculptor, Niema Quershi and street-artist Don’t Fret to be a part of the hosted workshop for The West Suburban Art Conference of High Schools here in Illinois. The conference hosted select art students from multiple high schools throughout Chicago’s western suburbs. With sponsorship and support from Sharpie and Dick Blick art suppliers we were invited to create a sticker workshop and discuss, briefly the history of the sticker and more importantly, our sticker history and love affair with the medium. Thanks to the supplies from the sponsors, the students created their own stickers which were compiled into an over-sized collage upon their completion.
Each speaker hosted their own brief workshop as the classes were split into two groups. With the artisttic support of Don’t Fret, we were able to engage the students in a hands-on, seemingly alternative, art assignment meant to touch on current aspects of contemporary art and even more so on one we both are deeply involved in. The students were all very open to the workshops, some with sketchbooks prepared, even toting their own sticker books/collections in many cases and others free handing away on the supplied slaps. The students were fully engaged throughout the entire workshop as their previous knowledge of the medium and artists who work within the medium helped us to all be on the same page, in one way or another.
“Children are color-blind and still free of all the complications, greed and hatred that will slowly be instilled in them through life.”—Keith Haring
As a part of our new year, at Pawn Works, we plan to focus more events around the youth and based in Arts Education and looking to not just limit the project to Chicago, we are also hoping that this opportunity in Savannah,GA will open up more doors for similar projects here in Chicago and more importantly with Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
The goal is to work with challenged artists (graffiti artists, street artists, to give back to their communities and possibly even work off community service hours that they’ve earned for illegally doing their work on the street).
We created two stencil workshops (one for each school) where the kids made stencils of what veer they want that were then used as part of the mural itself which allows for the students to be a part of the mural which will be up in the respective schools indefinitely. We held a Saturday pizza and mural painting party with the at-risk students of Hubert Middle School in Savannah, GA, the student teachers from Savannah College of Art & Design and Education Alive! and the guest of honor, Chicago’s Nice-One.
Hubert Middle School | Savannah, GA
We recently did some work with the Savannah Chatham County School District and an organization known as, Education Alive! this month to create interactive student workshops based around the completion of a mural done by Chicago street-artist Nice-One and the at risk youth of two schools located in the Savannah Chatham County School District in Georgia.
Pawn Works (Chicago) joined the Savannah-Chatham County Schools and the youth arts education organization, Education Alive! with their on-going Mural project taken place from 2/14-2/19 in Savannah-Chatham County in Savannah, Georgia.
Inspired by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Project (MAP), we are planning a series of events in which we work with public artists and graffiti artists to give them new outlets in which to work with schools and communities around the country creating in-depth arts experiences. The first of these events took place last week in Savannah, Georgia. In partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and Education Alive! we will be created workshops and lessons based around a mural that was completed with the students of a local high school. Savannah-Chatham County School District’s Windsor Forest High School and Education Alive! had invited us to their community to run the workshop and facilitate the mural with enigmatic Chicago street artist Nice-One. This project aims to continue the ongoing conversation between the art world and the interests of the youth and to educate and involve children in arts and in the creation of murals within their daily environment, their schools.
During our visit we also worked on a special after school ‘pizza party mural project’ with the students of the historic Hubert Middle School. This mural was part of an effort to raise awareness through the arts while spending time with the less fortunate students during the weekend and providing a fun, safe atmosphere outside the normal lines of their standard school days. Influenced by the coloring-book scribbles and lack of self-awareness within a child’s endlessly fascinating world free of inhibition and direct influence, we seek to work with the youth to make an artistic statement rejecting the conflicting racial and cultural differences that define our society. Nice-Ones eye-popping ageless and genderless iconic figures allow for the versatility of their interactions with one another and with the viewing public. His International notoriety as a street artist and vandal at the brink of change as well as his medium itself lends itself to the current interests of the youth in modern contemporary art.
We believe in the overwhelmingly positive effects of the artistic process on a person’s self-esteem and general outlook on the world. Alongside the participating schools and students, we too, seek to improve on human qualities such as, creative problem solving, responsibility and cooperation through this community based arts initiative.
Windsor Forest High School | Savannah, GA
Our contact at Windsor Forest High School was Ms. Sperry. We met Ms. Sperry, the art teacher at WFHS through the student teachers of Education Alive! thanks to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). We were with two of her classes creating stencils that were to be used in the completion of the mural by Nice-One.
We can’t begin to thank her enough as well as the rest of the administration at the school. The assistant Vice Principal totally saw the vision we had for this project, understood it and let us execute to the best of our ability free of artistic direction. What an experience, we owe a big thanks to all those who helped organize this project and of course to Nice-One for the amazing worked he did in just a few days time.