A Change of Art, Art for Change

Signs of Change

We all know that art has massive power to move people to social change. Art is a universal language we all speak and can bridge enormous divides to help bring about awareness and help unify. The past month, injustice has been on full display. We have witnessed terrible inequities and heinous abuses of power. We are in a crisis and everyone has a role to play. There is no excuse for sitting back and not doing something. Now, more than ever, we need art that not only comments on our times, but creates space for the cultural narratives that have been missing. Throughout history, the art of protest and resistance have played an important role in putting a visual to one’s feelings, worries and opinions. Recently, we have seen protest signs as an indispensable part of every demonstration. Created by both artist and non artist- types, signs are an effective way to amplify our message. This week, I encourage you to join me in a simple, but powerful community effort project that addresses the anger and grief afflicting our nation right now. Whether its just a simple word or phrase scrawled on a torn-apart box or a beautifully designed, intricate piece of art, lets create signs that say what is important to us and together, put positive messages out into the world.

Materials:

  • Anything goes- cardboard, poster board, white erase board, plywood, markers, crayons, colorful tape, or paint.

Directions:

1) Engage in a conversation with your family about what is happening in our nation right now. No matter your child’s age, there are appropriate ways to talk to kids about racism, protests, police brutality, George Floyd’s death, tolerance, and injustice. Examine your own feelings about racism and injustice.

2) Think about your message. What words resonate with you? Remember a sign can be sarcastic, humorous, poignant or devastatingly powerful. If you are struggling with the right words to use, there are countless templates and ideas on the internet you can use.

3) Get creating! With signs, you want your message to be clear, so neatness counts. You can even get the little ones as young as babies involved with an added handprint, or finger-painted background and you do the lettering. Some helpful hints: your main text should be well-contrasted against the background, make sure letters are properly spaced so it can be easily read, outline letters with a bold, black outline to really get them to stand out.

4) Place your sign on your property (or other acceptable location) and be proud of yourself and the lessons and values you are instilling in your children.