How do Parsons students get involved in volunteer projects while using their art and bonding with classmates? The Parsons Student Senate spearheaded the project “We Speak in Art” to do just that!
Last February, the Parsons Student Senate collaborated with African Impact, an organization facilitating volunteer projects in Africa, to create a pen pal-like art exchange with South African children called “We Speak in Art.” The call went out to our student body, and those who signed up found themselves engaging in a painting party complete with snacks and good vibes. Parsons students painted on canvases, and these half-finished pieces were sent to the Ezwenelisha Afterschool Club in St. Lucia, South Africa. There the children, many of whom have been orphaned, had the opportunity to complete the paintings, adding their own flair and getting really creative. (The children are also all wearing Parsons t-shirts that our students created in a Foundation Lab class!) These paintings were then shipped back to Parsons. The art auction will take place in the Fall and the proceeds will go towards African Impact’s Education Program in St. Lucia. (We’ll definitely write a follow-up post once the auction takes place.) Adriana Iwashko-Rybak, an Academic Advisor to students in the School of Design Strategies and Parsons alumna, and Evan Iacoboni are advisors to the Parsons Student Senate and plan to continue coordinating projects with different global children’s organizations. Adriana also had the opportunity to travel to St. Lucia to meet the children while they painted!
The complete title of the project is “We Speak in Art. One Nation Divided. One Canvas Shared. One Voice United.” As you’ll see in the photos of our students and the children, art can transcend cultural and language barriers. And they say math is the universal language.
-by Victoria O’Neill-