As artists, we have the gift to create - anything - anywhere - anytime. No constraints hold us back, except ourselves. I like to challenge myself not in what I can create in artwork, but in the community I live in. I had the privilege of leading several workshops for ARTreach at the Fort Bend County Juvenile Detention Center with teenage boys and girls.
The video below is from one of these such workshops titled "Step Forward". This is the check list and the math of this particular session:
12 teenage boys
2 point and shoot cameras
12x12" recreation room with limited supplies
The challenge I gave the participants was, "think what STEPS FORWARD will you take when you are released?" They wrote their answers down and that became the shot list for each participant. Working in teams where one is the photographer, one is the assistant and one is the model, they used only items available to them in the room as props for their photo shoot.
The elements I taught about Photography work well in life as well.
- compose with purpose
- create a plan
- who will help you
- observe and make necessary adjustments
- change perspective trying it different ways
- if you don't like it, start with new plan
I collected their thoughts, notes and images and returned the following day with label print-outs of their images along with hardwood floor planks they could build and connect. the slideshow depicts the foundation we were able to create in 90 minutes. I love doing workshops with teens - they are incredible at using art to communicate.
If you're an artist, I challenge you to create - anything - anywhere - anytime. In this scenario, it was creating possibilities - juvenile detention center - for 90 minutes. I am very proud of this piece of art! And if you're not an artist, donate to a non-profit that helps deliver these types of programs in your community.
To find out more how you can provide such programs to underserved communities, visit ARTreach, a non-profit organization that uses the arts to change lives.