Social Justice Printmaking Teacher Workshop

On Feb. 9, 2019, teacher artist Alex Huttinger offered a Saturday morning workshop of her program, the Social Justice Printmaking (SJP) Workshop, for 20 D.C. area teachers as part of Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. We met at the beautiful Halcyon Arts Lab

The SJP Workshop teaches students the traditional art form of relief printmaking grounded in a review of social art movements, social history, and contemporary events in order to help them generate new ways of thinking and expressing themselves. In the BLM teachers workshop, participants saw examples of the work of Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett, explored the symbolism of the “I Am a Man” protest signs during the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, explored ways to introduce the SJP Workshop process in the classroom, and created their own print.  

In the teachers’ reflection at the end of the session, comments included:

  • I appreciate how versatile this workshop is. It can be connected to so many curricular areas by creating a bridge between students, their experiences, identities and history, literature, current events. I plan to share Alex’s contact info with several people in the middle schools where I work (I don’t have a classroom of my own).

  • This was wonderful! Hands-on and a great demonstration of how to develop lessons around the intersection of social justice and graphic art.

  • I am honest. This affirmation is important to me because it is a quality that initially most people think is positive, but at the same time it is rare and unwelcome sometimes in action.

  • It was a wonderful experience that I can use to help students become agents of social justice and change! Also, it was great to connect with other mindful educators with shared values!

  • I thought the session was creative and it was definitely a new experience to me. The process was therapeutic and it’s the same way I would incorporate it with students. As a process. I would use this art form not just for BLM but also for math and science. So that students could see those subjects as art forms also.

  • Alex broke everything down into manageable steps connected to content that will stay with me. The Social Justice Printmaking Workshop was definitely worth a Saturday morning. As a history teacher, I am always looking for ways to incorporate art that is engrained in the curriculum and not only an activity related. I can think of so many ways to incorporate Social Justice Printmaking into my classroom.

  • Yes! Can’t wait to try Printmaking at home and at school. Love the art and social justice angle. Thank you!!

  • I loved the opportunity to practice art, before teaching it. Thank you!!

Social Justice Print Making Teacher Workshop