Starting through research
In April, I received a grant from the Grinnell College Alumni Association to do an equity screen printing poster project about issues of racial justice. This grant is in honor of Lori Ann Schwab, a classmate who passed away while studying abroad in London. I’m grateful for being able to work with the kids on this!
I showed them slides on artists who work with screen prints and this great video on Chicana printmaker, Favianna Rodriguez, as well as emphasizing how strong art can be in creating social change.
They started by doing research online, looking at posters, sketching and figuring out what subject area they wanted to focus on. They could do these choices or others: racism, BLM, gender inequality, healthcare inequality, police brutality, protecting people with disabilities, LGBTQI+. I had them work in groups as screen printing needs many hands and it’s a great way to practice equity in itself!
They cut out shapes from construction paper for this step and placed them under their screens. They had the choice of this negative space technique and one where they do a positive shape print using screen filler paint to block ink. This was a challenge for them but they persisted!
A few final prints
The kids are still working on this project and some finished but many will pick up again next rotation when they return in a month. The Still I Rise poster below is about a Maya Angelou poem.