The 2017-2018 Arts Education school year has kicked off at Craft in America! We were very pleased to welcome back our Van Nuys students to the Center this morning for a significant exhibition that deals with child immigration. The artist of the body of work displayed, Jaime Guerrero, was able to meet with the high school students in order to talk with them about issues surrounding youth immigration in the 21st century. Over half of the high school students that attended the field trip immigrated to the United States, many of them traveling alone and being held in detention centers once arriving to here.
Although shy, many of them were more than willing to discuss their interpretation of the glass work inside and outside the giant fence, which acts as a symbolic and literal border. Although the topic hit home for many of the students, they were very comfortable because they were not being targeted or isolated in the group; they were around their classmates who have also gone through the same journeys and experiences. What was unique for this visit was that it was a completely bilingual visit. We were able to hold our Visual Thinking Strategies and the artist dialogue in both Spanish and English which encouraged our ESL students to join the conversation.
To end their visit, we had the students share photos they took of the exhibit in order to demonstrate the different perspectives each student had. It was great watching them lean over their peers shoulders to see what they were posting.
This project is being made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.