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Art is Activism
September 13 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Art is Activism Series with Mandy Benson
Art is Activism is a six class series (register for one or all) developed to engage participants in art, activism and social justice. This course uses contemporary art and social justice theory to dive deep into the issues that we are facing in our country today. Each class includes a presentation of inspiring art and artists, a discussion of how the art and issues impact us and others, and an opportunity for participants to express themselves through an art project.
Wednesdays: September 13- October 18, 3:30pm, Room 11
Art Is Powerful – Clay Sculpture
Art gives us a glimpse at the world through another’s eyes, often moving us to action, and inspiring us to express ourselves. We will discuss art that changes the world and analyze “Fearless Girl” by Kristen Visbal and “Persist” by Julia Fernandez-Pol, bronze statues that have inspired many, although not always the way the artist intended. After examining what moves us to action, the participants will express themselves through the creation of our own clay sculptures. Beginners welcome.
The Dynamics of Privilege – Felt Houses
We have all heard of white, male privilege, but the truth is that we all have varying amounts of privilege and disadvantages depending on our gender, race, class, religion, sexual orientation and more. We will discuss the systems of oppression that impact some people more than others, and determine who we want to be in the cycle of socialization. While we delve into this core level discussion of social justice theory, we will examine privilege through historical and contemporary art, and make our own piece reflecting privilege in the unique art of felting. Beginners welcome.
Exploring the Spectrum of Gender Identity – Painting on Canvass
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls”, does not quite describe friends beyond the binary. This class will explore what we know about gender identities and how we can co-create a world that is more inclusive to all. Together we will look at visual art outside of the male/female binary, and use it as inspiration to create our own acrylic painting on canvass with step by step instruction so. Beginners welcome.
Am I A Feminist? – Framed Mirror Mosaic
If you believe women are equal to men, then you are a feminist! Yet, many people who believe in the concept of equality do not identify as a feminist. We will explore the theories behind the term, the many aspects of identity, and you can determine what labels you use to describe yourself. We will explore the fractured identity of many female artists, and use that as inspiration to create a beautiful framed mirror mosaic with tile. Beginners welcome.
What’s an Ally? – Tapigami
While white supremacy is on the rise, many white Americans are questioning how they can be a true ally to people of color. This class will help participants understand the interconnections between racism, economic issues, sexism, and other forms of injustice to illuminate the patterns and cycles that keep us separate and unequal. This class will use art to illustrate the ways that we can support diverse leadership and how to address the systemic nature of racism and inequality. Together we will create a Tapigami city that is inclusive to all, and participants will take home their own Tapigami sculpture. Beginners welcome.
The Power of Voice – Voice Box Paint Project
Speaking up and speaking out is a basic building block of activism. Whether it is in the Capitol or in the streets, social change starts when people claim the power of words. From graffiti to protest signs, this class will take a deep look at the various art forms that people use to speak their minds, and give participants an opportunity to express themselves through words by creating a painted “voice box” to speak truth to power! Beginners welcome.
Mandy Benson is the Founder of the Artivist Institute, a center for art, activism and social change. Mandy is a lifelong artist, activist, community organizer, and educator. Mandy has served as President of California NOW and U.N. Women, SF/Bay Area Chapter. Mandy has led campaigns on issues of health, safety and equal opportunities as the Statewide Field Director for both Planned Parenthood and California National Organization for Women (NOW). Mandy has directed student centers and leadership programs at Stanford University Women’s Community Center and Mills College Office of Student Activities. Mandy is a painter, craftswoman and seamstress. Mandy has a M.A. in Women, Gender, and Social Justice, and a B.A. in Behavior Science.