Employed but poor

Installing 2nd panel
Installing 2nd panel

Finally, on a Sunday morning I installed the 2nd panel of my craftivist project – Employed but poor. I had finished this panel at least a month before but I was feeling lethargic when it came to installing it. I think this had something to do with the fact that you are so exposed at the installation site. I’m not so comfortable with this because it leaves you open to criticism and other unexpected reactions. But this work is meant to be seen by a whole range of people so it has to be outside.

I am curious to know how people react to this work and I wish there was a way of recording this. Suggestions welcome.

I wonder how many people who walk by find themselves in the situation of being employed but struggling to make ends meet and to provide their children with the basic necessities. How many people are working two jobs because the primary job does not pay enough to make ends meet. If they have children, how much time do they have for them? If children spend a lot of time without their parents, what are the consequences?

These are some of the questions that this phrase makes me think of.

In terms of pedagogical possibilities, I think this phrase offers lots of fodder for discussion. If children/youth were given this phrase and asked to explain what it means, what would they come up with? What would be revealed about the students and what is the potential for discomfort in the classroom for discussing this? And how would you prepare for this as an educator?

This gives me the idea that I should develop exercises and activities to explore the work in the classroom. This would encourage some deep thinking and discussion on the part of the students and would enable them to appreciate the depth of craftivism. Then they’ll be able to see the possibilities with their own craftivist projects.

I hope that by the time I’ve finished my Art Education Diploma at the University of British Columbia, I’ll be able to bring craftivism into the elementary classroom as an artist in residence. Craftivism probably lends itself well to topics in social studies.


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