Using Art to Create Change

An ePIFanyNow.org Story For many people, art can be therapeutic; something about using paint, clay or other materials to create something…

An ePIFanyNow.org Story
For many people, art can be therapeutic; something about using paint, clay or other materials to create something new and express feelings brings about a calm that allows the artist to forget about the frustrations of the day. For REACH Studio Art Center, students Jocelyn Wheeker, Ripley Olson, Tamara Hunt and Cynthia Terry, expressing themselves is only part of it; these four high school students are using art to make a statement about creating a cleaner environment for everyone.
All four of the girls have been coming to REACH for years, and they all share a passion for creating art and raising awareness for environmental issues. Many of the projects that they work on involve going out into the community and creating murals and other art. Many of these projects promote awareness for issues important to the artists. Previous projects that the group has worked on include making a statue out of recycled materials for the Lansing Board of Water and Light and creating murals that are displayed throughout REO Town.
All of the artists have the opportunity to have their work showcased, but bringing their vision to fruition can be difficult at times. They must first present their ideas and explain why their art should be displayed.
“If your art becomes a mural, that’s pretty memorable,” said Wheeker. “One of my graffiti murals is up in REO Town right now. We pass it every day.”
The girls have busy lives outside of REACH, too; Wheeker is on a dance team and works with horses, Terry has volunteered with the Teen Studio, Olson is on a competitive swim team and Hunt does competitive cheer and works part-time at a daycare. Even with their busy schedules, they make time to come to REACH to continue working to raise awareness for the issues that are important to them. “Damage to the environment is a real threat,” said Olson. “It may not seem like an important thing, but it is.”
Their passion for creating a cleaner environment shines through in their art. Currently, the girls are working on a project to promote awareness for how littering affects the environment.
“Some people are careless enough to think that the Earth will always be here,” added Terry. “But we don’t know that with the way we treat it now.”
Aside from promoting environmental issues, the girls all agree that giving back to the community is incredibly important.
“[Giving back] gives you a new perspective on the world around you,” said Hunt. “It’s how we grow and figure things out. I definitely think it’s important to get that new outlook; we need that forward motion.”
The girls also provided some advice for other teens who are interested in giving back to their community, but may not know how.
“Try to raise awareness in your own way,” said Olson. “Use your strengths to give back.”
Do some research and find out what groups are near you, added Hunt. There are a lot of different groups out there that are doing a lot of different things to help out the community.

Related

Coat Drive BoxCoat Drive Box

MLK Day: Collecting Coats for Those in Need

A national nonprofit, One Warm Coat, has called on volunteers nationwide to help address a critical shortage of coats…
balancing act family photobalancing act family photo

A Balancing Act

Mom Juggles Kids, Work and COVID During Pandemic
MSUFCU Art AdMSUFCU Art Ad

MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit to be Televised

Voting will begin Jan. 27 and end Feb. 24.
Group of kids laughingGroup of kids laughing

MSU Holds Virtual Stuff the Library as Part of MLK Event

Michigan State University invites the public to help shine a light for children and teens on the world Dr. Martin Lut…
Oval OfficeOval Office

Autism Advocate Returns to Lansing after White House Internship

The advocate and founder of the Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation recently returned from a three-month internship at t…

Connect

517 Facebook
517 Instagram
517 Linkedin

Contact

517.203.3333

221 W. Saginaw St.
Lansing MI, 48933

All Rights Reserved 517 Business and Lifestyle Magazine. Website designed and developed by M3 Group

Sign up for our newsletter!