Youth today face formidable social challenges. The Social Justice Printmaking (SJP) Workshop aims to help young people develop the inner resources and skills needed to not only cope with their social environments, but also effectively change them through the art of printmaking—an art form which has a rich history of social and advocacy application. As participants in the SJP Workshop, students are taught the traditional art form of relief printmaking grounded in a review of social art movements, social history, and contemporary events in order to help them generate new ways of thinking and expressing themselves. Students also learn to discuss their artwork, articulate their ideas and take action on issues they care about. They are encouraged to examine the social issues they confront and explore how they can creatively respond to them.
Since 2003, Alex has partnered with educators across the DC metro area to bring the SJP Workshop to their students. Often, the Workshop takes one of the following forms:
- In-School Residency (1-2 hours/3-5 days) students participate during regular/daily class
- Intensive Workshop (4-5 hours/1 day) best with a small group of students with a well-defined topic (social justice issue) they are looking to explore through printmaking
Recent SJP Workshops
- Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action – Beauty in Self (Jefferson Houston MS, grades 6-8)
- Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action – “Let America be America Again” (Lee Montessori, grades 4-5)
- Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action – Joy in Self (Jefferson MS, grades 6-8)
- Community Activism – It Starts With Me (Alice Deal MS, grades 7-8)
- Food for Thought – Food and Environmental Activism (Stuart Hobson MS, grade 8)
- Portraits of Social Justice (Stuart Hobson MS, grade 8)
- Themes of Social Justice (Stuart Hobson MS, grade 8)
The SJP Workshop is adaptable – let’s talk about how best to make it work for you and your students!