School is letting out for summer and the kids at schools across the country are saying their goodbyes to teachers and fellow students. It’s always the hope of teachers to have made an impact on their students during the course of the school year through the projects that they ask their students to take part in. At Skyview School in Prescott, AZ that hope has been made into a reality by Lisa Hendrickson, the art teacher at Skyview, along with a little help from the high-tech sticker printers at CSM.
CSM Owner and Skyview parent Jeff Daverman collaborated with Ms. Lisa early in the school year to provide the kids with a couple of meaningful art projects that would ideally project their art out into the world in a much bigger way. The focus of the first semester project was mandalas, which the students loved. For second semester the idea was to spread the students artistic designs and personal ideals beyond the walls of Skyview out into the world by creating and printing a unique expression on high-quality stickers from Jeff’s local shop. The students were asked to bring depth to their design (what is the idea behind the visual idea?). They were encouraged to use any medium of art, and were required to follow the specifications of any customer making a custom sticker order.
As an artist and sticker maker himself, Jeff provided guidance for success, “I was hoping that we would really get a diversity of ideas around the sticker project, which is what ended up happening in a big way. This really gave the students a chance to express themselves and physically insert their perspective into the world in which they live.” The diversity of ideas that were born from the end results was truly inspiring, as each student was handed a packet of their own custom stickers the trading began immediately. Everything from hand drawn text explaining a perspective, to abstract drawings that held hidden meanings and were open to interpretation were drawn by the kids. Mrs. Lisa shares her perspective on the individualistic nature of the project:
“It’s so important for kids’ voices to be heard, particularly at the middle school level. By individualizing the project and having them [the students] be able to communicate what they want to, rather than it being a theme that was imposed on them, then they felt the freedom in that.”
The takeaway here is really just how responsive younger people are to being given the responsibility of producing thoughts and opinions, and having them be permanent fixtures that are out inspiring others and potentially changing the course of the world for their generation. It’s something that’s in line with Skyview’s mission as a school in general as well. Skyview Director, Scott McCreery, explains:
“Skyview is a school that has really, purposefully been designed to teach to the whole child, and the arts a tremendously key role in that. We at Skyview don’t look at academics as being above the arts, we feel that they blend perfectly well together.”
The response from the kids at Skyview to a project like this one was much more involved and deeply received that anyone could have thought. It’s a truly emotional experience as you view the diversity and deep beliefs that these kids put into their designs. Maybe it’s time to ask more of our young people. Maybe the younger generation around us has much more to say than we sometimes think and ask them to share with us.
Some of the designs are below. As you look through them, open yourself up to better understand their perspective, and ask yourself, would I be so bold like these kids are to design and print my most highly held opinions on a vinyl sticker for those in my community to see and be motivated or moved by? We at CSM are really proud and encouraged by the effort and creativity of the middle-schoolers at Skyview, we are grateful to be provided the opportunity to bring this project to the classroom!