Do you think art can change the world? This week at MS 8, our grade took a break from our usual academic classes and focused on this one exploration topic. Here’s how exploration works. First, our teachers each choose a workshop to teach us about. This can be anything from stereotypes to comedy to song analyzing. The next three days we went on field trips. Lastly we have to work on two projects: an essay based on our opinion, can art change the world, as well as an art piece on an issue we care about. One of our field trips was to Bushwick, Brooklyn. We took a tour (run by Free Tours by Foot) of all the amazing street art known as the Bushwick Collective. It was so interesting to learn that street art is legal in this area and people do it for a living. One story that really stuck with me was about a man known as Stik. He was homeless growing up in Bushwick, and decided to make street art as a way of showing his feelings without joining a gang. Below (yellow, with figures holding hands) is an example of a piece of art he created which we saw during our tour.
Our tour guide, Izzy, told us that this art represented everyone coming together and stopping homelessness. I think that because Stik grew up being homeless, he has a strong opinion that everyone should have the same opportunities and this showed through his art. I think this is an example of art changing the world. If everyone saw this art and understood that it was supposed to represent the end of homelessness, maybe people would realize that this art could be our future. Maybe then people will start donating to charities and other homeless shelters. Eventually there will be no homelessness and this art will have changed the world.
Take a look at (below) some other photographs of the Bushwick Collective and see what you think. To learn more about how our 6th graders think art can change the world, as well as how 7th graders feel about the ethics of animal testing and how our 8th graders can enact change, feel free to stop by the MS 8 Exploration Expo on Thursday, January 19th from 5-6pm at MS 8.
By Casey Glickman, Class 603
Photo credit to Casey Glickman, and, for Stik’s art, the Bushwick Art Collective’s Facebook page