Denison Studio Art professor, Sheilah Wilson, is working with Denison students as they develop workshops that will interact with youth in the public schools and outreach centers in Newark, Ohio.
The workshops will use the billboard, image by Felix Gonzales Torres, to act as a catalyst for conversation and the students own visual responses. Gonzales Torres used his personal life as a way to make work to engage a larger population; workshops are designed to get students thinking about how they can photograph something they love and create their own lexicon of meaning.
Denison students have spent the beginning of the semester meeting and designing workshops for students. The students involved are from a range of disciplines; Theater, Education, Studio Art, Biochemistry and Art History. The first workshops begin this week at the YES Clubhouse, and will continue with the Newark Library, as well as McGuffey elementary.
The final product, a printed newspaper, will be circulated to the Newark community through free distribution. The newspaper will include the students work and responses to the Felix Gonzales Torres billboard. The opening event will coincide with Newark Youth Leadership photography opening in the Denison Art Space in Newark. Students from Denison have been working with the Newark Youth Leadership students to help them with editing and selecting images, and the opening on April 7th will be a chance to celebrate both projects of youth responding to, and having a voice in, their own community.
The project has funding from the Ohio Arts Council, Licking County Foundation and Denison University.