The YALL Art Project is a 2 part collaborative art project in Photography and Mural Painting. Students are each given a camera and guided through a series of assignments that encourage them to find their authentic voice and individual self-expression. As the assignments unfold, the students get to know each other through the sharing of and exploring each other’s photographs and through team building exercises and critiques. After hearing each other’s voices, perspectives, and ideas, the group is challenged to collaborate on a mural inspired by the images and stories of their photographs, thereby celebrating and incorporating both their differences and similarities. Students complete the course with a working knowledge of how to use a professional camera, a series of photographs for their portfolio, and prints that can be sold to fund-raise for their community or school, as well as color mixing, a working knowledge of how to execute a large scale painting, a completed public mural, and documentation of the process which they also add to their portfolio.
While the students will be learning these practical skills in both photography and large-scale mural painting, the most important goals of the project are as follows:
- To use artistic expression to help children overcome the trauma of severe abuse.
- To open up the perspectives of the students to the multiple views through which we all see the world.
- To practice increasing acceptance of each other by maintaining an environment of equality and mutual respect throughout the process and giving value to each individual voice.
- To increase the students' capacity for empathy by having to collaborate even if they have differing views.
- To teach the value of self-expression and that creating is not reserved for artists: We all have our inner artist.
- To teach collaboration, especially when considering the differences in each other’s views. Encouraging students to work through the challenges of a final design together is an invaluable skill to bring to their personal lives, to the work place, and to their communities.
- To raise the confidence of each student as a valuable member of their communities by giving them this space where their voice matters and their contribution is a concrete reality that can be seen by their fellow community members.
- To solidify the idea that the world is ours to create.
WhY DOES THIS MATTER?
We believe that the above goals are paramount to a better world. Anything is possible when you have the skill set of accepting others, accepting differences, accepting yourself, and knowing how to collaborate on a vision that nurtures everyone as equals. This is the skill set we ultimately hope for our students to bring into their communities. We hope one of the ways we are able to measure the success of The Y'ALL Art Project is through witnessing the students continued involvement in their communities.
WhY PHOTOGRAPHY & MURAL PAINTING?
These mediums allow the process to begin with discovering their individual self expression and then evolve to collaborating on a collective vision. When the students see the mural in the community, they have the reward of continually seeing their impact on the community. When the students see their photographs, they hold the evidence that their unique view had an impact on the whole.