Sunday, August 24, 2008

Integrated Learning Thanks Sammy and Marlena

Integrated Learning San Joaquin Valley Laton, California.

Romina and I signed up for the San Joaquin Valley IL class. This class was amazing thanks to Marela Donahue (Art Historian), Sammy Flores Pena (Anthropologist) and all of the students (especially the seniors because we killed it.)
The class was an introduction to fieldwork. One of the graduate students suggested this program to our teachers at Otis because she was born and raised in
Laton. Chelo's goal was to return the visual arts back into her community.
We went the San Joaquin Valley because it is one of the major "bread baskets" in California. Being one of the main suppliers of produce and dairy we wanted to learn the community's struggles and achievements. We discovered that the farmers are greatly suffering because they are not getting enough recognition for the work that they do. 

Farmers are being under paid and unappreciated. With the no child left behind act there is a huge emphasis on teaching main courses like math and reading. Although, school administrators do not make the correlation between art and science. That everything is intertwined. Most importantly the benefits that art has a on a community. Their school systems are not receiving enough funding for extra curricular activities. Therefore programs like art, drama, music etc is being cut.

Marlena said that if nothing else was to be accomplished that if we could see a change of awareness and thinking within ourselves that would be a well worth trip.
As seniors we interviewed the community trying to learn their history and emphasis how important
Laton was even though many of them didn't think so. It was wonderful actually connecting with the people face to face. Unfortunately we did not get an idea of all of the social classes in Laton. We were mostly interviewing middle class/ working class citizens. We were told that if we went into the working fields we would endanger the people's jobs or worse be shot... righttt so at the end we did get a few people who worked in the fields interviews. Marlena and Sammy had us all work in groups to put together to create a book about the histories and lives of the people in Laton. We were put in four groups of four to three. Each group created a proposals of what some families that represented stories essential to Laton culture. It was nice to see the different visual interpretations of how we thought the pages should look like.

Each day was intense. We woke up around 7:00am interview sessions, then lecture, and discussion about interviews and lecture with Sammy and Marlena, reflections at an abandoned Protestant church with the graduate students and juniors, more lecture from Laton administrators, dinner, homework to at least 1:00am.

This was an amazing opportunity and I'm glad I was able to be apart of it.

 These were just some of the examples of the pages we did for our final project. Our team consisted of a Beth(fine artist), Taryn (graphic designer) and Romina and I (Illustrators) We all contributed a little bit of everything. Beth really helped with the theory,Romina, Taryn and I did a lot of the designing and the image work. Our idea was to make the pages look like a sketch book.1

At the Lions club an hour away from setting up the final show. Thanks to Daniel we were able to print out all of our work.

Friday morning of the show. We all pulled an all nighter to get the work done.

Farmers Market!

In Exter before Laton for Lunch.

These were some sketches I did while we interviewed some of the local teachers and farmers.

While Sammy was lecturing... notes on Hegemony and Ethnography

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