Would you be able to make a statement about yourself within a 2X3 inch box?
That would be pretty tough, right?
The ambitious students from Glendale Middle School’s Latinos in Action class accepted this challenge to claim something important about themselves within an Altoid box. Using 3D visual elements and their awesome artistic minds, they have transformed these tiny spaces. This year the class has been exploring the concept of Claim It! as part of a National Endowment for the Arts funded program with Salt Lake City and the Unity Center. These young people hope to give a voice to their community, their families, friends and to themselves.
The classroom was a buzz of energy as they discussed what they were thinking about, and rummaged through boxes of fabric, old toys, and paper. After diving in with their hands and intuition, they stepped back to examine what they had made. As part of their piece, each artist has written a statement describing the artwork in their own words. Some of the questions they answered are:
What is your box trying to say?
Why did you choose the colors/materials that you did?
Did you learn something about yourself while making this box?
How does your art piece show what is important to you?
Is there a story to go with your box?
Does it inspire a poem?
Look for more artwork from these dynamic artists at the Sorenson Center this May!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2015
Contact: Chris Peterson, Sorenson Unity Center (801) 232-3226
City Celebrates Launch of Community Art Project for Youth
SALT LAKE CITY — City and community leaders will celebrate the launch of OurSLC: Claim it! a multi-year community arts project of Salt Lake City’s Sorenson Unity Center and the communities of Glendale and Poplar Grove at 2 p.m. on September 22 at the 9-Line BMX Pump Track, 700 West and 900 South, in Salt Lake City.
The Glendale Middle School Latinos in Action youth group will kick off the project with the installation of a pop-up art work at one of the future sites of the National Endowment of the Arts-funded program.
In the words of Randy Kennedy, the social practice of art making “blur(s) the lines among object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, environmentalism, and investigative journalism, creating a deeply participatory art.”
This distinction is an import one for this community art project. The artwork will not only be the resulting public art objects, but the entire conversation created around the theme of claiming it. The performance of claiming something, through your participation, becomes attached to the final objects.
It is our hope that Claim it! is genuinely participatory in its approach, meaning that we set up a variety of activities through which people from all over the city – with a geographic focus on West Salt Lake – access the theme and interpret it from their experience.
Join us for the performance, the conversation, and the documentation of claiming what is important to you, right now, right here, in our SLC.
We are creating public art pieces for three sites in West Salt Lake. This presents us with challenges and opportunities.
Some of the challenges:
- How can we work over time with a variety of stakeholders to create pieces that are truly from and of the community?
- What will the work look like and how many hands will craft it?
- How will we make choices between different ideas as we go forward?
The truth is that we don’t know. At least not yet.
But we are crafting the process to get us to that point, one that is complex and broad enough to capture the variety of voices and faces we need to hear from and see. We may not see the artwork just yet, but we see all of the rich storytelling opportunities that working to see it presents.
Last night presented one of these opportunities at the University Neighborhood Partners in the Park event at Poplar Grove. Local residents – with the welcome encouragement of Teresa from UNP – accepted our invitation to Claim It!
Some of the claims made:
- I want to claim more mercy.
- I want to claim more advocacy for victims of domestic violence.
- I want to claim more education for kids.
- I want to claim opportunities for better jobs.
- I claim my family.
- I claim my right to live in world where people with different perspectives get to live and work together.
Join us and make your claim this Saturday, August 1st at:
We are so happy to have been included in the Alt Press Fest activities at the Main Library last weekend. Alternative press looks like many different things as a product, but as a process it is a way to have multiple voices delivered in a variety of media, through non-traditional routes. It is an opportunity for self-publishing and small publishing of perspectives that do not tend to be covered in broad news and traditional publishing. For us it was a perfect fit. Documenting our communities claims through conversation and photography. And it was a broad section of the community, our roughly 60 participants represented over 15 different zip codes. Some of their claims:
I claim my dolls.
I claim more Pokemon cards.
I claim that Alliance House is Happiness.
I claim my right to marry.
I claim my strength as a woman.
I claim my right to make bad art.
I want to claim more space for people on foot and people on bikes.
What will your claim be?