Mural, Painting, and Art Education Project with African Refugees and the African Center of Grand Rapids
My Summer Scholars project is an Art Education project involving the
Our first few weeks was spent getting to know Yaka Kamungi, the director of the organization, and the families that he helps. We were brought around to meet the refugees over the course of a couple of weeks. We wrote about our experiences in detailed logs which we emailed out to friends, family and prospective volunteers.
Along with fellow Art student, Carrie Schoenborn, we created an Art-based ESL class and headed up the programming for the Center. We purchased a variety of Art supplies and using pictures, colors, and activities we were able to teach English lessons using a creative, hands on approach. The refugees, called "clients", would come in regularly to learn English and to pick up food, and have Yaka translate their mail and bills.
Over the course of the month, myself and other artists, would draw characters to compile in a landscape mural suggesting the journey which the refugees have taken. The mural is a sort of narrative landscape with the left side of the building depicting rather universal, iconic, rural African lifestyles. As the eyes pan to the right, the narrative slowly shifts to
We are videotaping the experience as it unfolds and will likely compile the elements into a short documentary which we can use to publicize our efforts and promote the Center.
Faculty Mentor: Ed Wong-Ligda, Art and Design
Page last modified July 14, 2009