CRAFT AS SOCIAL JUSTICE
In important ways, art and craft can shape the way we live and work: our perceptions of place, our actions towards others. What we make--as artists, makers, designers, and architects-- can influence (and be influenced by) politics, economy, IDENTITY, LABOR and the need for EQUALITY.
In Craft as Social Justice 2017, a theory based seminar at California College of the Arts, students looked at how object/image making and activism intersect in order to propose solutions and open up dialogue. From the Socialist origins of the Arts and Crafts movement to contemporary activist practices, these fifteen seniors and juniors examined how craft strategies have connected to politics and everyday life in order to turn things into agents for social change.
Students in the class each curated an online exhibition to present a social justice issue through groups of objects, designing their sites to present ideas through both image and text. You can click on any of the images below to access the exhibitions they created.
Craft as Social Justice was a Fall 2017 undergraduate 300 level Visual Studies course at California College of the Arts, taught by Maria Porges. VISST-300 seminars continue developing students' visual analysis and research skills while providing students the opportunity for in-depth study of the visual/structural artifacts associated with a particular topic, region, or movement. Students also engage with the relevant primary/secondary literature for the specific topic/theme. Courses pay particular attention to the larger cultural, historical, and theoretical/ideological contexts in which the visual artifacts and structures under consideration were created.
We would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of Lisa Conrad, Digital Scholarship Librarian, and Daniel Ransom, Instructional Services Librarian, both in realizing this exhibition and in helping us maintain standards of digital scholarship as well as of research and information literacy. And a special thanks is due to Erik Scollon, whose seminar in 2016 laid the foundation for this continued exploration of CRAFT AS SOCIAL JUSTICE.