Guest Post by Deidra Dunkley, YO S.O.S. Intern

SoS_ArtsToEndViolenceArts To End Violence is a project where different artists of all ages create a visual piece to display the way they see or experience violence and peace. On July 30th I accompanied Mediation Center staff member, Kevin Hershey to an Arts To End Violence (A.T.E.V.) workshop at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice as part of the Horizons Summer Camp. We started off the workshop with our favorite ice breaker which was “Big Wind Blows” then a few follow-up questions to warm up the group.

After this, we reached the most interesting part of the workshop. We had the students break up into groups where each group would receive a piece of art from the artists who had entered their work in previous year’s gallery shows. After each group received their art pieces they had 10 minutes to analyze the artwork and think about 4 main questions:

  1. What does this piece mean to you?
  2. What do you think the artist intended to portray?
  3. What’s your favorite part about it?
  4. What does this piece have to do with violence?

SoS_ArtsToEndViolence_09One person from each group then responded to the questions, sharing their ideas with the rest of the room. The students’ responses to the questions were very eye-opening, and in fact I realized that I’ve never seen the artwork in the way they did. While I was the one teaching them about the pieces, they also taught me a lot about their views on violence.

The last part of the workshop was also a lot of fun, as everyone got the chance to create their own A.T.E.V pieces then share aloud what their artwork was about and how it connected to violence. I had a great time and I’m really looking forward to doing this again. Fore more information on Arts to End Violence, visit our page here.