Smile Politely

Chicana artist and Urbana High students exhibit for social justice

From the press release:

What: The University YMCA announces the Art @ the Y opening reception of “Identity, Activism, and Youth” by Humanitarian Designer and Chicana Artist Nancy Guevara and the students of Urbana High School participating in Art, Media, and Design, a 21st Century Learning Center course.    

Various student-led projects include creating a response to gun violence through poster making, collage, and drawing, complicating Latino stereotypes through skits and video, and conducting interviews with students about their experience in public school and is presenting findings through photography, installation, and sculpture.  


When: Thursday, May 16, 5:00–7:00 p.m., Artist Talk at 6:30 p.m. 

Where:  Murphy Gallery, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Details: A viewing with light refreshments will begin at 5:00 p.m., followed by an artist talk at 6:30 p.m. Nancy Guevara will be available for interviews in advance as well as at the opening reception. To arrange an interview in advance with Nancy Guevara or with the participating students of Urbana High School, please contact Ann Rasmus, University YMCA Program Director.

Background:  This exhibition, like the Art, Media, and Design course at Urbana High School, is about engaging people in a survey of social and cultural issues to facilitate discussion and to encourage them to be active members and agents of change. Nancy Guevara has introduced students of this program to the use of design, media, and art techniques that are used to educate, create awareness, and inspire initiative as well as to foster interest through research, analysis, and observation.

Artist Bio: Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, Nancy Guevara earned her design degree at the University of Texas. Interested in the intersection of humanitarian design and public art, social justice and education, Nancy is a Fulbright Scholar for her work in “Humanitarian Design in Mexico City.”
Artist Statement: “I am a social designer, activist, and educator whose borderland background and upbringing continue to direct my life and work. I strive to create learning environments that respect and appreciate students’ cultural and economic background and identity. I am a supporter of diversity and multilingualism, and I value different forms of communications and learning. I focus on painting, writing, and designing public, didactic and culturally relevant art, educational materials, and projects.I explore ways in which social awareness and learning can be cultivated through play, visual expression, interaction, and reflection.”

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