Richards Career Academy after-school visual arts photography students see trash in their neighborhood differently. Students work with slogans like; “The trash can is your friend!” And ‘waste is not really waste’. Program participants have taken trash to create projects that raise awareness about reduction, reuse and recycling in Back of the Yards (BOTY).
The students used found objects that would otherwise be dumped in the hope of creating something beautiful. Working as a team, the students designed and made an outfit designed with old science fair boards, bags of chips, duct tape and yarn. They worked together on the production, styling and documentation of this fashion photoshoot to show off their work.
For 16-year-old Keyandre Jackson, the project gave his take on the speed at which waste accumulates. “Don’t let waste sit too long in places because it accumulates quickly,” she said.
After completing the fashion piece and the photoshoot, Jackson said, “There’s a lot of useful trash around us.”
Two of the images from their photoshoot will be included in the annual youth exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art on March 23 for the 2018 Best of Yollo.
With spring fast approaching, students will start working on their projects outdoors by collecting waste, sorting it, recycling and upcycling it in an effort to encourage residents of the BOTY neighborhood to do so. likewise.
Students will document their process by taking before and after photos of their projects. They will start collecting data that will be used to compare the amount of waste obtained over the life of the project. Students will compare the number of steps taken on their daily trips to the amount of garbage they pick up. This process will help students better understand the many ways that photography can support data collection, civic engagement, and social change.
To learn more about Richards Career Academy’s after-school arts programming which includes classes in graffiti and public art, photography, radio and folk dancing, you can visit the Instagram Account.