The 8th grade students at Asheville Middle School are kicking off the year with an artistic project. Before beginning the official NC curriculum, the 8th graders have been focusing on human rights and what it means to be an active citizen.
“Americans Who Tell The Truth” is a book written by Robert Shetterly, published in 2005. The book features quotes, biographies, and portraits of influential Americans who have worked to make change. The tellings of the book have now been turned into an organization and a project for students. The organization has a specific mission to combine art and other media with the work of active citizens to inspire a new generation of people. The project prompts students to choose a social issue that they are passionate about and research a citizen who actively made change within that issue. After researching the issue and the citizen, students were assigned to write a 2 paragraph summary that detailed what the issue was, how the citizen they chose was involved, and their personal involvement.
The second part of the project involved a collage style art piece that featured a portrait of either the chosen citizen or themselves. The piece was meant to convey a message of how the person depicted in the portrait worked in that issue. Students had access to many different types of magazines and images that they could use in their collage. This project gives students a chance to get creative outside of the elective halls.
To wrap up the project, both the art and the writing portions were driven downtown to the YMI Cultural Center by AMS teachers. The projects will be put on display during an Americans Who Tell The Truth event. Students and parents alike are able to attend as well as anybody else in the community. An official gala was held on the 19th that featured all 52 of Shetterly’s portraits also at the YMI Cultural Center. Although this project has come to and end, students will continue to be more aware of the social issues of our world and what can be done to make a difference.
You can visit the Americans Who Tell The Truth site here!
Story by Krislynn Hawkins