Celebrate People's History: DIY Poster Workshop

Make your own poster and share it with us!

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NEW: Drop-In DIY Poster Workshops

Haas Center for Performing Arts (PAC) Lobby
October 22nd
3pm - 6pm

&

October 29th
3pm-5pm

Make your own poster inspired by the Celebrate People's History  exhibition now on view in the Art Gallery at the Haas Center for Performing Arts. Sanitized materials will be provided. This drop-in workshop is open to anyone!

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“The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced and distributed political propaganda, but detourned to embody principles of democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of history. It’s rare today that a political poster is celebratory, and when it is, it almost always focuses on a small canon of male individuals: MLK, Ghandi, Che, or Mandela. Rather than create another exclusive set of heroes, I’ve generated a diverse set of posters that bring to life successful moments in the history of social justice struggles.

To that end, I’ve asked artists and designers to find events, groups, and people who have moved forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more equitable and just world. The posters tell stories from the subjective position of the artists, and are often the stories of underdogs, those written out of history. The goal of this project is not to tell a definitive history, but to suggest a new relationship to the past.” - Josh MacPhee, Celebrate People's History Curator

In which social justice causes are you most interested? Select a cause or movement from one of the posters in the exhibition OR research a new cause, event, group, or person who moved forward the collective struggle of humanity toward equality. Download the 11x17 inch template and create a poster that celebrates your chosen cause, movement, group, or person. If you don’t know where to start, use the step-by-step instructions below.

celebrate people's history poster template, outlines of title

Click to open PDF in new window and download.

Or Download the Coloring Page

<-- Click to download, print and color by hand. Or download and color with an online tool like Krita or Fire Alpaca.

Two Ways to Make!

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Create By-Hand

six photographs of a table top with art supplies and hands making a poster

On-campus pick-up locations listed here

Use an App

This design was created using Canva.

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Step-by-Step Instructions

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Gather Materials

Old Magazine
Scrap Paper
Markers
Colored Pencils
Scissors
Glue Stick

Anything you can find!

pile of art materials on table top

Choose a Theme

Select a cause or movement from one of the posters in the exhibition OR research a new cause, event, group, or person who moved forward the collective struggle of humanity toward equality. Not sure where to start? Use this list of topics to begin your research.

a notebook in the middle of a table covered in art supplies with a list of words, the word Health is circled

Create a Headline

A headline is single word or phrase that clearly explains what your poster is about AND grabs our attention. Usually written in an eye-catching font, a headline functions almost like a picture, rather than text. A headline should be large, in an easy to read color, and placed in a prominent location on the page, usually at the top or the very bottom.

 

a notebook on a tabletop surrounded by art supplies with the words "Fluoride in Grand Rapids, 1945"

Choose a Color Scheme

All the Celebrate People's History posters are printed in just two colors, plus black. So we recommend sticking with the parameters of the CPH project--choose two colors that represent your topic. Sometimes a topic lends itself easily to a color scheme, like blues and greens to represent environmentalist ideas, but sometimes choosing a color scheme is tricky. Here's a tip, choose a basic color from the color wheel (google color wheel if needed) that feels like the right fit, and then choose a second color that's at least 3 spaces (or a quarter of the wheel) away.

 

two hands hovering above a table top covered with art supplies, the hands are holding a color wheel and two markers

Create or Choose an Image

Your image could be a portrait, an image from the news, an icon or symbol, an abstract representation, or any other visual that represents your topic. Look through the Celebrate People's History posters to get ideas or research the visuals already used by your chosen cause.

Two hands flipping through an old magazine hovering above a table top covered with art supplies

Put it all Together

Use the poster template provided to put it all together!

a poster in the middle of a table top covered with art supplies, two hands color the poster

On-Campus Pick-Up Locations

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  • Haas Center for Performing Arts (outside the Art Gallery)
  • Kirkhof Center (next to the 2020 info desk, 1st floor)
  • Calder Art Center (outside the main office)
  • Mary Idema Pew Library (next to the service desk, 1st floor)
  • Steelcase Library (Collaboration Zone, DeVos Center Building A)

Share Your Poster!

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Tag it with #gvsuCPHposter!