SchoolArts Magazine

November 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Like the Guerilla Girls, students chose to remain anonymous and instead signed their work with "This message was brought to you by the Guerilla [artists/boy/youth/kidz/girl/group/guys/teens, etc.]." SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 29 ognized the display as the markings of an activist-oriented art teacher and correctly identified me as facili - tator. I received many emails from colleagues that morning commend - ing the powerful work that gave overt attention to the issues that plagued our students. However, not all reactions were positive. As with most powerful activist artworks, there is almost always a negative reaction and this display was no exception. Some fac - ulty threw away the posters, while others collected them and turned them in to the principal. When the principal called me in to discuss the display, he returned a stack of posters and advised that I give prior notice next time I try a school-wide display of activism. Conclusions The most powerful part of the les- son was the aftermath of the assign- ment. Many students came to me with stories to share about reactions to their work, trying to find their own poster, and even the excitement of having their work torn down. Both the positive and negative reac - tions reinforced the impact of both contemporary art and social justice activism. This assignment changed the way students in the class approached art for the remainder of the course. Through this lesson, they developed a message, created an image that had a powerful impact on their com - munity, and, not once, did anyone remember that they couldn't draw a stick figure. Jessica Kirker is a high-school art teacher in Norristown Area School District in Norristown, Pennsylvania. jkirker@ nasd., N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work. W E B L I N K

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