This past fall we shared that the Wisconsin School of Business’s direct admit LEAD course and the Go Big Read program had partnered to harness art as a means to further investigate the ideas presented in Go Big Read social justice texts. The result was 20 unique pieces of art, aimed to address social issues.
LEAD students creating their prints in Wheelhouse Studios.
In the Union’s Wheelhouse Studios last November, LEAD students drew on inspiration from historical and current social justice movement posters and evoked their own knowledge from Go Big Read texts Just Mercy and Evicted (bus.wisc.edu). All in, 120 students implemented their creativity, collaboratively hand-making 20 beautiful posters.
One print made by LEAD students.
The artwork now hangs in the Go Big Read space, within the Teaching and Learning Programs office within Memorial Library. The prints add wonderful depth and interest to the space and speak to the Go Big Read program’s effort to stimulate campus discussions.
We are so proud to have such incredible student work gracing our walls!
Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office
The Morgridge Center for Public Service recently published an article about the opportunity that 18 UW-Madison freshman students had this fall to learn about racial justice through creating art. The students are enrolled in three courses that are focused on the same topic, which is “Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference.”
Their professor, Professor Kathy Cramer, took the students to Memorial Union’s Wheelhouse Studios earlier this month. The students were given small squares from a portrait and were asked to paint their squares on a larger square canvas without seeing the larger portrait.
Once the students completed their individual squares, these pieces were put together to form a large version of the portrait. Students were then shown the original portrait and saw the similarities between their collaborative work and the original.
The article from the Morgridge Center says that, “The students gather[ed] to reflect on the project through the lens of racial and social justice work. Students talk[ed] about the need for collaboration and the power of many over one. Other students explain[ed] how they felt their piece of the portrait seemed insignificant, alone. But now they realize how important it was to the final, collaborative picture. Just one missing piece would have left an incomplete portrait. Instructors explain[ed] how important these same principles are to racial and social justice.”
To read the original article and see the students’ finished portrait, click here.
Today and tomorrow a business class will be meeting in Wheelhouse Studios to create art-based learning projects focused on the book Just Mercy. Wheelhouse Studios is an open art studio located in Memorial Union. Its website describes the art studio as “three versatile workspaces, flexible studio designs, drop-in art opportunities, and classes for enthusiasts and dabblers alike, it’s easy to sign up and get involved.”
Four sections of a 120 student class will go to Wheelhouse Studios to create screen printed posters that they co-designed in small groups around themes of leadership, mental health, and humility from Just Mercy. Each student will get a copy of their poster and a set of the student created posters will be on display to the public at Grainger Hall sometime in upcoming weeks. Two examples of the student posters can be seen on the right side of this post.
While at Wheelhouse Studios students will also construct handmade, saddle-stitched notebooks and journals that will be donated to Wisconsin Books for Prisoners and the LGBT Books to Prisoners Project.
For more information about Wheelhouse Studios click here.
For more information about Wisconsin Books for Prisoners click here.
For more information about LGBT Books to Prisoners Project click here.