Saturday, July 30, 2011

Joplin - Drawing Workshops With Kids

Drawing with kids is illuminating. Kids, up to a certain age, draw the way grown-ups sing in the shower - full-force with heart and emotion and with little concern for how they sound to others. This is especially true when you give them just enough of a prompt to get their wheels turning and then get out of the way.
As a part of our design process for the mural, we spent nearly a week talking and working with kids on drawings about their idea of 'home.' Over the course of eight sessions, we worked with more than two-hundred young people from the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Spiva Summer Art Program. The drawings they have made are remarkable - remarkable for their beauty and their honesty, and remarkable especially for the way they examine and illustrate the joy and sorrow of living in a time of confusion and contradiction, on one hand, and unparalleled community spirit on the other.
Below are some of their drawings which were made collaboratively, in groups of three, in response to the following cues:
  • Imagine that all the people, animals, buildings, and bicycles from here dreamed a dream together for Joplin.
  • Make magical incredible, creature-machines - part plant, part animal, part person, and part make believe that work together to create the Joplin you would like to see.
  • Design a video game that takes players on an adventure through what makes your home town unique.
  • Design a website for young people who have never visited Joplin, that shows them all of the things that you think kids would be interested in or need to know about where you live.

As artworks in their own right - capturing the beauty and in some cases tragedy witnessed by Joplin's young people at this unique moment in history - these drawings deserve to be seen by a wider audience.  We will be showing many of them as a part of the August Third Thursday event. Check back here for details.

Thanks to Kyle, Josie, Nicholas and Amber for helping to choreograph these sessions.

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