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an introduction to arts and activism for young people

SPRING 2014

ISSUE #01:

MOVEMENT MAKERS

Parsons Scholars Pre-College Academy http://scholars.parsons.edu/ Teach-In Spring 2014

MOVEMENT MAKERS
an introduction to arts and activism for young people

FEATURING Candice Danielle Robert Trujillo Melanie Cervantes Jesus Barraza Sophia Dawson wiseTwo Yashua Klos Oree Originol Sarah Quinter Erin Yoshi
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Follow this link and fill out the survey! http://bit.ly/MJrBmi Zine Organizer

Mensen / www.msmensen.com Jessy Jo Gomez Deja Holden


Zine Designers

ISSUE#01

Candice Danielle
I write poems and I facilitate creative writing workshops in juvenile justice facilities and group homes.
How did you become involved in art? Ive been a contemporary dancer since the age of 5 and I started writing poems in college. I began performing at open mics on campus and in the community at age 19 as a means of catharsis and Ive gone wherever its taken me ever since. How did you become involved in activism? I became involved in activism through my work as an educator and poet. The two have seemed to go hand in hand. The opportunities have presented themselves the more public I have become in conversation with individuals I work with as well as through discussions Ive lead over various social media and web dialogues. How did these two things come together for you? Arts and activism came together for me simply by me making the decision that I wanted my work to be consumed by them both. I sought out organizations and educational bodies that displayed an understanding of the fact that art is important as well as displayed an understanding of what it takes to act on injustice. What I found is what I moved on. How did your personal and life experience influence your practice? I have experienced a myriad of traumas and life-changing moments throughout my life that have, overtime, prompted me to speak on them publicly, knowing that I couldnt possibly be the only one. My personal life has influenced the validity of my work in the sense that I do it because I know it can impact someone because I know it impacted me. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes. It took me 5 years but I graduated undergrad at Howard University in Washington DC and the experience changed my life. I met a lot of people who were brown and smart like me but have many different perspectives and skills to offer to this world than I did.

bronx, ny

advice to young artists


Young artists should be open-minded to what has been done but be audacious about what they personally would like to do. Let your personal convictions and motivation drive you to the end. Contact Candice at: ciloh3@gmail.com Check out her work at: becomher.tumblr.com

self
How unfortunate to suffer Such adverse consequences For being Ourselves Driven blindly toward orthodox We are lead to believe Safety fleets if we don't live life Hand-held This ground of self-definition Too unsturdy, unstable, Unprotected Indirectly told we are unable To do this without institutional covering Denominational buffering We couldn't be connected or In tune with the creator like how they do We've now erected from the trials of Eden In the garden We are Adam having taken the suggestion Of Eve and the fallen fruit from tree Simultaneously Prey and predator Lustful perversion nothing more Than hedonist desire running rampant through Our bodies and transfiguring into Justified lifestyle You can use anything to validate, daddy say The devil is a liar He prays I do not burn in brimstone Caught in cross hell fire I am not afraid of what they assume Attempting to evoke uncertainty in unfamiliar They try to cast down, call upon doom Disguised as love but have never tried to Understand Never considered an embrace Never thought for once that maybe I'm right To trust myself, seeing the creator for the first time as I learn My own face Didn't ever occur to them I just might be in the right Place , honest and true They'd rather reprimand and criticize what I do How wrong of me to think independent How dare I not follow suit They've never known the clarity of a silent bedroom And natural light, bright shines The mind and heart of A fearless young woman in Full bloom Claiming own sight Taking own steps Facing own fight Confidence becomes effortless And It comes from passing life's tests Gratitude when things aint so easy Seeing all, good and bad, a manifestation Of God, expressed Taking it all in Giving it all back She is steadfast She is full and does not lack How unfortunate to suffer Such adverse consequences For being Ourselves Driven blindly toward orthodox We are lead to believe Safety fleets if we don't live life Hand-held In blame Hand held In worry Hand held In shame Hand held The comparison Let go of that....and grasp firmly to self.

Robert Trujillo
Illustration, murals, character design, childrens book art. I used to teach and give workshops as well.
How did you become involved in art? Its always been around me, but I started taking an active interest when I was in elementary school. I was very drawn to airbrushed jeans and the lettering on them. When I found out that it was graffiti, my mind focused on that alone for nearly a decade. How did you become involved in activism? I grew up in a household where some facets of activism were either talked about or practiced. As a kid this influenced me to seek out other folks who either challenged my point of view or supported it; namely other artists who explained things visually. How did these two things come together for you? When I met some guys in the late 90s, early 2000s we formed a crew of art based on our political and personal beliefs. When we first started there was not much support, attention, no internet, and few allies. But slowly, year and project by project we began to meet like minded folks. And then it all made sense-how the two relate to each other. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? Sticking to your guns, and not falling victim to elitism, macho bullshit, or bragging. Its great to be active in both circles or to combine the two, but when I did I came across a lot of opportunists, people who like to measure who is more credible than others, etc. And you just have to challenge yourself to think outside of the box, and not take shit personal. Sometimes folks are just jerks, sometimes theyre informants. Either way, you keep on! How did your personal and life experience influence your practice? A lot of what I did was around race, identity, being of mixed background. Finding out who I am influenced it greatly because the art was a way to express that openly. Being a parent had a lot of influence since I began to see things in a new light, the way a child sees them. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes, I went to several. Private, state, and community. My experience was all over the place. There were times when I wished I had more knowledge on a school level, and there were times when I felt I didnt need it. For me personally, I think it was important to not only go to college, but to finish. It was a goal i set for myself, that I achieved. And I learned a lot from teachers and students who truly cared. There were a bunch of people who treated me less than or like I was invisible, but I wasnt there for them. I was there for the good folks and for myself. Ultimately i think its good to explore your hood, city, state, country, or to live as much as you can before you go because when you get there youll know what to do with the tools you get, and how to look for the tools that they hide.

california

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


Do what you love first and find a way to make money seperately. If you just do it, whatever it is for fun, you will grow the most because you won;t care what people think. You wont worry about whether they will pay you, curse, award, insult, or praise you. It helps just to develop your own style independent of outside chatter and suggestions. When you do that, you have something most dont: an idea of who you are, what you do, and what you want. Hire yourself. We all have friends that influence us to create, band together, form a crew, family, or collective. Many fingers are more powerful as a fist than one alone. When you have a crew of like-minded individuals you can share resources with each other. Pursue owning your own work. Go work, make a living, do as much as you can on your own or with family. Leave your comfort zone. Travel is a big way, because it helps you understand who you are by surviving or by using what you know to make it. Even if you need help, ask for it-but explore, explore, explore. These experiences inform more than the internet, books, videos, or tv ever will. Then when you get to create, you will have ideas to pull from. Contact Robert at: info@robdontstop.com Check out his work at: robdontstop.com investigateconversateillustrate.blogspot.com trustyourstruggle.org

Melanie Cervantes
Graphic agitation. Political graphics in collaboration with other artists, change makers and movement organizers.
How did you become involved in art? My parents were always really creative people and I have been in a space where creating and drawing were natural outcomes of those spaces. How did you become involved in activism? In community college I got involved in Latino organization for students and I kind of came into leadership by accident. Every year I did more and more about issues I cared about. How did these two things come together for you? Like many things. By accident. I started to teach myself different art methods by learning how to do things like make stencils, painting with acrylics, making work with textiles and finally taking a class on screen printing so I could make political posters. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? Time. Its hard to manage the time to do everything I want to especially because I have another job I have to do to keep myself and my family fed and clothed.

oakland, ca

What was your most satisfying experience in combining art and activism? The collective victories that I have been able to contribute to. Two recent examples are the shut down of ICE in Phoenix and the blocking of Operation Streamline busses in Tucson Arizona. Also, here in California we had the Domestic Workers Bill of RIghts victory. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes but not for art. I got my BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


Get as much out of it as you can. Use all the resources available, talk to your professors as often as they are free and make sure you stay grounded in your community while you are in school. Learn about the arts/movements that have come before you. build a bridge from your generation to ours and vice versa. Contact Melanie at: melanie@dignidadrebelde.com Check out her work at: www.dignidadrebelde.com www.justseeds.org

Jesus Barraza
The history of art and activism. black power movement, chican@ movement and Asian American movement and how they used art, also the AIDS art movement in the 80s.

san leandro, ca

How did you become involved in art? Not sure how it first happened. I first started making posters when i was in college to support the activism that was happening and that I was involved it. This was more like graphic design or graphic art, this was in the late 90s. Then once I left college I went to work at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, there I learned how to screen print with Juan R. Fuentes and Calixto Robles. This is when i started to think of myself more of an artist than a designer. How did you become involved in activism? Activism goes back to high school days, my sisters were really great at politicizing me at a young age 15 or so and started working with MEChA in HS and even started a group with a friend to deal with MultiRacial issues. Then in college i was just involved in activism because my sisters were connected and it was just my life by that point. How did these two things come together for you? I was an activist and I knew how to make things, so thats what I did. It was just natural connection for me...we need a newspaper. I knew how to lay it out. We need a flyer Ill do that... What was the most satisfying experience in combining art and activism? Seeing my art being used as a tool for liberation...or better said when ever the art we make is at a rally or protest. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes, I studied Raza studies at San Francisco State University. I really liked it but my activist involvement made it hard to finish on time and it took me for ever to graduate.

advice to young artists


jump in and dont be put off because it seems so foreign...

Contact Jesus at: jesus@dignidadrebelde.com Check out his work at: http://dignidadrebelde.com

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


To try and not be put off because of the costs...there are scholarships that they can take advantage of. that is how i am paying for grad school

Sophia Dawson
I am a visual artist and muralist

brooklyn, ny

How did you become involved in art? Although I auditioned for music and art high school with the intentions of becoming an actress or musician, I was rejected from both the music and drama department and only accepted for art. I attended the school for art and little by little my abilities were revealed to me. How did you become involved in activism? I watched a documentary on the Black Panther Movement and it changed my life. I was unaware of the injustices that happened back in the 60s and continue to happen today. I felt obligated to do something. How did these two things come together for you? By the time I saw the documentary, it was clear that art (painting) was one thing that I could do well. It was also a way to bring people together. I knew that if I contributed to activism, through my art it would be effective. (I also never made a really great protester) What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? Knowing whether or not my work is effective. This is still a challenge for me. It is hard to tell whether people really learn through my art and whether they are compelled to do something (activism) once they have experienced my work. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes, SVA, Fine arts and NYU arts administration. I learned more about how to be an artist entrepreneur in NYUs masters program, even though it was not designed for artists.

advice to young artists


Its not easy, but stick to it. If you love it, then do it.

Contact Sophia at: iamwetpaint@gmail.com Check out her work at: iamwetpaint@.com

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


Do not expect your professors to understand where you are coming from. That takes time and you will have to be persistent. Also, please educate yourself on art (as a business). When you graduate, you will no longer have access to studios, labs, free paper etc. and it gets real, real quick. Do what you can to figure out how to sustain your practice (post-school)

wiseTwo
Street Art and Activism.
How did you become involved in art? From a very young age, any form of art had a magnetic pull and I always ended up in that magnetic field. Today my art form mainly Street Art is my life and passion. How did you become involved in activism? Growing up my biggest influence was Malcolm X, read all his speeches, listened to them and then read his Autobiography, and it opened my heart and mind and then read more literature based on Revolutionaries and Activists and that grasped my attention. How did these two things come together for you? Art for me is a form of activism, not in its very direct sense but if looked upon and analyzed critically Art is activism, I just found a way to intertwine the two more in to what I do, and take it to the Streets, where ever I travel and paint. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? My biggest challenge has been criticism from people in the streets every time I paint a piece that expresses some form of activism, especially one that is based on reversing the status quo. In Kenya politics is life, being apolitical is not a good sign, but our kind of politics is based on tribal lines rather than merit of the politician. So in its entirety this has been a great challenge. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes I did go to college, I studied Law, Philosophy and International Relations. My experience was great, Education is key, its what will take you to a better place, we may not see it now but the future will definitely give you that answer.

nairobi, kenya

Just keep an open mind, learn all the art that you can, and find yourself and what form of art fits your liking.

advice to young artists

Contact wiseTwo at: bhupijethwa@gmail.com Check out his work at: Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/ Wisetwo/140043682822039 Instagram: wise2muralist

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


I am a self taught artist, I have learnt all my skills from participation and observation. If you have the drive and passion you can do anything when you put you mind and heart in to it. The process is a fun process where you learn to rediscover yourself and allow the process to free your mind. If you have access to studying in a college for art and design go for it, any knowledge acquired is knowledge, so make use of that privilege to make society a better place.

Yashua Klos
I make collages that activate the 3rd dimension while they are really just 2 dimensional beings. I also teach the truth to the youth through art.

brooklyn, ny

How did you become involved in art? My mother would make me do a drawing in my high chair to earn my Gerber. Its been ON since then. How did you become involved in activism? In undergrad- I lived in an income subsidized housing complex and I volunteered to teach art to the kids in my building. I saw that art teaching activated so many tools for mentorship and empowerment within my community. How did these two things come together for you? Art and Activism came together when I saw there was power in providing young people with the permission to use their voice. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? I used to feel like I had to be completely mature to teach others. I realize now that the best teachers are always learning their own flaws. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? I loved college because I was exposed to resources, students, and ways of thinking, that I would have never been introduced to otherwise. It was very hard feeling isolated at times, but in that isolation I made a lot of art.

advice to young artists


You can do it and no one does it alone. Connect with other like-minded people and build a tribe. Lean on each other because you will need to be re-affirmed by those who speak your language and understand you without your explaining.

Contact Yashua at: yashuared@yahoo.com Check out his work at: www.yashuaklos.net

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


I would say explore as many different tools, materials, philosophies, challenges that you can.

Oree Originol
I am a visual artist that mostly paints with acrylic. I create abstract patterns using geometric shapes with vibrant colors. I also create art for social justice with the artist network, Culturestrike.

oakland, ca

How did you become involved in art? I have always had a natural inclination to drawing ever since childhood. I first exposed myself to the world through graffiti around Los Angeles but it wasnt until I moved out to The Bay in 2009, when I began to exhibit my paintings in galleries and became involved in several projects in the community. How did you become involved in activism? I became involved in activism when I started living in the Bay Area. Working with children gave me the platform to begin developing my skills engaging with other human beings in an idealogical and artistic level. I then found a job working with a prominent activist/artist, Favianna Rodriguez, that enabled me to practice my art within a social context working on issues such as immigration and racial justice. How did these two things come together for you? Becoming an artist came naturally as a child. I just have never let it go. The activism and the connection of the two came from being an active member of the community in the Bay Area. I was just coming off of my first solo show in Berkeley when I got a phone call from Favianna asking me if I could help her set up her upcoming solo show at the time. Those few days of assistance became a full time job which has influenced me to take a more active stance in support of social issues I care about. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? The biggest challenge has been working with organizations that do not value the artists work as a form of labor that requires financial compensation. The need to promote culture before policy is very important because change in our society is never measured by the law unless its it has consensus among the community. Artists create culture and are a pivotal aspect of social change. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? I have never gone to college. My form college has been my personal life experiences that have inspired my ideas and creativity in many ways.

There are many aspects to sustaining a successful art career than just being a great artist. There are many talented artists out there who could be making lots of money but are not able to make a dime because they dont have a well rounded hustle. Aside from knowing how to create artwork, they need to know how to promote themselves on social media, be able to communicate with the community and also be able to finance themselves. There is lots of informations in books, online, or at school.

advice to young artists

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


I would tell the youth to follow their dreams in whatever they want to become in life. Going to school for art and design would be the best move to make at their young age. Getting ones self a step ahead of the game will make your future much easier, and that is one thing that art school can provide. I also will say that it will take more than just art school to make you a great and successful artist. Make the most of life and experience as much as you can. It will reflect in your art. Contact Oree at: oreeoriginol@gmail.com Check out his work at: www.culturestrike.net www.oreeoriginol.tumblr.com www.facebook.com/oree.originol

Sarah Quinter
Making zines, printmaking, posters, flyers, and other print media for various organizations/campaigns.

new york, ny

How did you become involved in art? I think I was a natural artist from birth, creating not only with traditionally designated art materials but also anything I could find. I took a few free art classes in high school in addition to the ones already in my curriculum, and also my parents had taken me to a lot of museums and cultural events in NYC. I pored over art books in the library and though I did not spend much time in college, I took classes at the Art Students League of New York for three years. How did you become involved in activism? I actually became involved in activism through culture -- radical counterculture, specifically punk, anarchist, and squatter counterculture on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 2000s. I was very seduced by the Do-It-Yourself philosophy of these cultures and the inherent creativity and radicalism in that ethos. Publishing my own zines and making my own clothes were some of the ways I expressed that ethic. How did these two things come together for you? Looking at my description of how I became involved in activism, it seems clear that art always was an integral part of it for me. I think that has to do with the environment I came of age in and also says something about my own nature. Art is the medium through which I live my emotional, intellectual, and social lives, every day. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? I think sometimes its necessary to carve a niche for yourself and convince people of the value of your work. As a creator and world-changer, you are by definition covering new ground, and often not everyone will see the worthiness of your vision as clearly as you do. At the same time, there are many who are hungry to support and be a part of this kind of work. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? I attended Hunter college for two months before dropping out. College just wasnt what I wanted or needed at that age. I was really into self-education at the time and spent most of my energy working on various projects, teaching myself things, and working odd jobs during the ages that I would have been in college.

Contact Sarah at: anynumberofbirds@gmail.com Check out her work at: anynumberofbirds.blogspot.com sandysculpture.weebly.com

advice to young artists


There may be reasons why the official-ness of an art degree would be important to your status or potential career, but dont let anyone convince you that art or artistic competence are locked behind academic doors. Frankly, Im reluctant to encourage a young person to take on huge student debts in this economic climate. Art schools have a lot to offer, but I have also heard them be seriously criticized. With diligence and resourcefulness, anyone at any age can gain knowledge and skills.

Erin Yoshi
Organizer and the Executive Director of a public art non-profit called the Estria Foundation.

oakland, ca

How did you become involved in art? My mom was a painter/photographer so I have been doodling since I was a kid. How did you become involved in activism? Out of a need in my LA community. Also my parents politicized me at a young age with stories of them growing up in the Internment Camps. How did these two things come together for you? I claimed being an activist way before I claimed being an artist. So my work always had a social justice and cultural undertone. It was my inspiration for creating. What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome in combining art and activism? Censorship and finding funding for my projects. Did you go to college? What was your experience like? Yes, I was a big nerd in college. I have never taken art classes and majored in business. With strict asian parents, they wouldnt allow me to major in art, so I had to paint during my off time. I basically slept very little and set strong deadlines for myself so that I wouldnt fall behind other young artists. Like curating 4 shows a year, x number of murals to paint and live painting gigs every week. I used to say yes to everything and had an unwavering drive to make my dream a reality.

advice to young people applying to art-and-design colleges


I think, spend your time in school learning the skills you need to help support yourself as an artist. Learn basic business skills to know how to budget. Take writing classes to strengthen your skills in order to write about your work. Take grant writing classes to know how to pitch your projects. Take design, video and photo classes to know how to lay out your work, document it and understand lighting. That will open up your options for jobs that will be available to you in the future.

Once you know what you want to do with your life then you only have the challenge of figuring out how to make it happen. There is no formula, I have asked every mentor I have had for the formula, but I havent found it yet. So make the projects you envision happen, be as creative about how to create your projects as you are about the work you make. Contact Erin at: info@erinyoshi.com Check out her work at: erinyoshi.com trustyourstruggle.org estria.org estriabattle.com

advice to young artists

Parsons Pre-College Academy Teach-In Spring 2014

Want to be featured in the next issue of MOVEMENT MAKERS?


Follow this link and fill out the survey! http://bit.ly/MJrBmi

Zine Organizer

Mensen

Jessy Jo Gomez Deja Holden

Zine Designers