Author Archives: Carolyn Olson

Understanding Implicit Bias Through Photography – Teaching Tolerance Magazine

https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/understanding-implicit-bias-through-photography

Background

Students examine portraits taken by photographer Wing Young Huie and discuss their assumptions about the subjects in the photos. They then explore the concept of implicit bias and create a photography project about implicit bias as it relates to their own identities.

Level: School 

Grade Level: 7-12

Location: Rural Northeast Minnesota

Goals

  • Provide a safe environment for students to explore their own implicit biases and to take steps to become more understanding of others
  • Use photographs as a tool to explore identity and bias 
  • Use art and writing to explore implicit bias 

Grantee Reflection

“Students need to be able to talk about difficult things going on in their lives and communities with someone who cares about them. Providing the opportunity to share takes effort. We all need to listen.”

Procedure

Interested? Here’s how you can do this project in your classroom.

Moccasin Art Residency

South Ridge Sculpture students worked with Fond du Lac artists Karen Savage-Blue and Wendy Savage creating moccasins. Students learned to applique bead for their toe pieces as well as fit and sew their moccasins. It was lots of work but well worth it. South Ridge School Art Dept is sponsoring a “Rock Your Mocs” on the last day of third quarter. Everyone is encouraged to wear their moccasins in school. “Rock Your Mocs” is a national event begun in November 2011 (Native American History month). The creator loved wearing her moccasins. She saw the event as a way to unite and encourage Native Americans across the country. miigwech to South Ridge JOM parents and Essentia Health, Duluth for their generous support.

bimaadiziwin

The phrase “The Good Road” is a term used by many different Native American tribal communities to represent “one who is walking the road of balance”. Gaining knowledge to part of this journey. The two figures in the painting are adding positive forces onto the path. The hope is that we all walk this path together and contribute to building a strong environment for all people and every living thing on earth. 
bimaadiziwin – healthy and balanced life

This mural by Karen Savage-Blue was completed Summer 2018. The image supports the good and healthy life found through traditional ways . It is in the American Indian Student Services room and will encourage students each day gently reminding each one of their personal choices and strength found through traditional ways. 
The mural was generously paid for through a grant from the Fond du Lac Reservation – Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).

Region 7A MSHSL Art Contest

South Ridge School participated in this year’s Region 7A MSHSL Art Contest which was held at the new Moose Lake School on April 3rd. Nearly 120 entires were submitted region wide with 12 categories. South Ridge students were awarded two “Best of Show” – A Johnson, “Neon Clown”, Digital Art and C Dufton, “Butterfly Barrette”, Craft.  A Johnson, “Neon Clown”, also was awarded our only Excellent rating receiving 20/20 points.  C Dufton, “Butterfly Barrette”; “G Gundy, Succulent Sculpture”; K Graves “Diamond Bee,Printmaking; I Dean, “Portrait, Digital Art; and A Johnson”Succulent Bowl” all received Superior Ratings.

Student from through the arrowhead region were able to spend time together painting on a mural (to be installed at the Moose Lake school), drawing henna designs on to their arms and hands, ordering (and watching) a silk screened Tshirt made for them, throw clay on the wheel or enjoy drawing with friends. Great work everyone! We had a wonderful time!

A Johnson “Neon Clown”, Digital Art, Best of Show/Excellent Rating

L Schmelz “Portrait of an Older Person”, Painting

A Johnson “Succulent Clay Bowl”, Ceramics

I Dean “Portrait”, Digital Art, Superior Rating

C Loumala “Powerlines”, Digital Photography

C Loumala “Snowy Owl” (Porcupine Quill on Birchbark) Craft

G Gundy, Succulent Bowl”, Ceramics, Superior Rating

C Wallace “The Wolf and the Crows”, Painting

L Schmelz “Claw” (Porcupine Quill on Birchbark), Craft

N Olson “Nick” Digital Photography

S Vlaminick “Start of Fall”, Painting

K Graves “Diamond Bee” Printmaking, Superior Rating

J Class “Fox in Snow”, Painting

C Dufton “Landscape Near the Coast” Painting

C Dufton ‘ Butterfly” (porcupine Quill on Birchbark), Best of Show in Craft/Superior Rating

GSA Smoke Free Banner

A banner was created by South Ridge School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) with the support of Fond du Lac Reservation (FDL), South Ridge Art Dept., Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and Clear Way of MN.

South Ridge GSA works together to educate youth by raising awareness – learning how to be personally healthy, promoting healthy attitudes and choices in life. We support a safe and supportive community for all – whether a person is straight or gay, bi-sexual or transgender, queer or intersex – however students define themselves is supported.  Students are encouraged to be who they are – embrace love – not hate, embrace diversity and inclusiveness.

Students participate is a number of activities throughout the school year to share with their community what they are learning in GSA. We often focus on life choices. Studies show that queer and American Indian kids choose to smoke because of the added stresses these kids live with each day. They are more susceptible to substance abuse.  To preempt this South Ridge GSA and Fond du Lac’s SHIP joined together providing an opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle choice – to live smoke free.

Using a technique taught by Duluth artist Kirsten Aune, students cut words out of freezer paper creating stencils. Additional patterns and designs were again cut out of the letters and the stencils were ironed down on to a large sheet of muslin. Textile inks were then painted on top of the fabric. Areas where the original fabric remained were protected by the stencils.

Students worked for about a month to complete the banner which was unveiled Feb 28th when SHIP representatives visited school. They brought healthy snacks and shared simple breathing and stretching exercises (Yoga) students could do to relieve stress.

The stress of living in a society that is hostile to the people of color and LGBTQAI communities creates social stress that makes many of these young people at greater risk for substance use. Teaching students to be aware of this in their own life choices will better prepare them for a healthy future.

 

Opiad Epidemic Poster Design in Media Art

Media Art students worked with South Ridge Community Education to develop a poster for a community meeting designed to raise awareness of the Opiate epidemic in our state.

As a group student took the information (who? what? where? why?) and created a poster and advertisement (for local newspapers).

It was a great opportunity for students to experience a real life  opportunity.