Violence Awareness, Social Activism and
As part of E.T. Hamilton's effort to recognize and respond appropriately to violence in school and the community our 5th graders have created posters in art class to "speak out against violence". These images voice their concerns about violence and their hopes for a more peaceful word. We looked at the work of artist Keith Haring and discussed how artists can become agents of social change.
Haring gained prominence in the 1980's in New York City as the punk-rock music scene flourished and graffiti guerillas gained notoriety. The public responded immediately to Keith's simple, dynamic images sometimes addressing issues of social importance. Keith looked at the world, the struggles of the oppressed and through his art made his feelings known. Over the course of his short career he called attention to many causes. He created artworks to promote literacy, to support UNICEF; he worked against apartheid in South Africa and was a major figure in the effort to spread awareness of the AIDS epidemic. Keith worked with children often; they were an integral part of his work to fight drug use.
Our 5th graders have done an outstanding job "speaking out against violence" and I'm sure Keith would be proud too.
"What I like about children is their imagination, it's a combination of honesty and freedom they seem to have in expressing whatever is on their minds."