Art with a Social Conscience Encourages Discussion Through Art
by Soleil Devonish on Friday, November 6th, 2015
Art with a Social Conscience meets on the top floor of the AMC on Thursdays from 3:00 to 3:30. Art is a prominent form of expression, and the Milton community tries to encourage students to use art as an outlet to channel their ideas. However, a disconnect sometimes emerges between art and social awareness. Art With a Social Conscience bridges that gap by highlighting social issues through creativity and talent.
ASC was founded three years ago with the help of the Art Department chair, Ian Torney. This year, Mr. Torney enlisted the current co-heads, Rika Ichinose (I) and Te Palandjian (II), to enhance ASC’s campus presence by bringing more attention to the activity. The co-heads say their mission is to “utilize artwork in bringing attention to injustices, championing a cause, and motivating members of the Milton community to instigate social change”. The activities cover topics such as sexism, classism, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and systemic privileges. By conveying these issues through cartoons, paintings, drawings, photography, writing, and other forms of artwork, the club strives to take stances on controversial issues in order to raise our community’s awareness of social injustice.
Last Thursday afternoon, I had the opportunity to go to Art with a Social Conscience to see what exactly constituted a normal meeting. Ranging from freshmen to seniors, females to males, members of Art with a Social Conscience displayed just how diverse and open the club is to different opinions. That afternoon, the co-heads showed the club work done by Banksy, the controversial graffiti artist who famously creates art that expresses his views on social injustice.
After discussing Banksy’s work, attendees shared their ideas for the mural that Art with a Social Conscience will be making. Following ASC’s mission, the mural aims to provoke thoughts on issues around the world, and members of ASC are certainly putting a lot of thought into the mural in the hopes that our community will understand their ideas. The co-heads encouraged members to think about who the audience will be, how the audience will receive their message, and what impact this message will have on the Milton Community.
At Milton Academy, Art with a Social Conscience draws many parallels with other groups that are raising awareness for social issues on and off campus. Te believes that Art with a Social Conscience is an alternate outlet for students in the community to show what issues are important to them. Creating art is certainly a change from directly speaking out against an issue and such visual work can be just as moving, if not more impactful than the written word. Therefore, Art with a Social Conscience definitely attracts those who would love to stand up for a cause, and would rather create artwork to portray their beliefs rather than speak about them. Although an artist may have a specific meaning in mind when creating his art, people can interpret it in anyway they choose. Daisy Culleton (III) agrees that art allows for different points of views without one person just “stating what they believe to be facts”.
With racial tensions and gender inequality at the center of attention in the media, we must remember to be open to all opinions in order to truly understand certain issues. Art with a Social Conscience unites people of all different backgrounds to display their opinions in a peaceful and moving manner. If you want to participate in upcoming art projects that raise awareness for social issues go to the second floor of the AMC on Thursdays during the activity’s period.
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