Art for Social Justice

*DUE NOV 1st 2013*

What is Social Justice?

Social Justice is the idea of creating an egalitarian society (where all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities) or institution that is based on the principals of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.

Many artists use their work to spread ideas of Social Justice.  To view the power point we saw in class, click here: Art for Social Justice.  One of my favorite examples of an art for Social Justice is “Sun Mad” by Ester Hernandez.

Ester takes an image we are all familiar with and alters it to send a message about toxic conditions for workers and their families in Mexico.

Part 1:

For part 1 of this assignment, think of a Social Justice issue that you are passionate about.  First, sketch three thumbnails in your sketchbook.  These thumbnails should be three different ways you can send a message about your issue using visual language.  The sketches will be checked in next week’s class.


  • Three thumbnails showing your ideas for how to use visual language to communicate your message dealing with Social Justice
  • Be prepared to talk about your choices in class

Part 2:


  • Value: the lightness or darkness of a color

For part 2, choose your best thumbnail.  Draw it on a large piece of paper using pencil. Once you have finished drawing you will use collage to add color.  There are a wide variety of magazines for you to look through.  Start by “farming” colors.  Think of what colors you will be using in your drawing.  Then go through the magazines and start tearing out different values of these colors.  You will have an envelope so you can save all your colors for next class.  Once you have farmed enough colors you may start gluing them down with glue sticks.

*DO NOT*  Please do not tear out pictures of people and glue them on top of people that you drew, or cut out pictures of hands and glue them over hands that you drew.  Use the colors that you find in the magazines to color in the drawing you have already made.


On the other hand, you may use cut out letters from the magazines if there is text in your artwork.

Once you have covered your entire paper in collage you may go over any lost details with a black sharpie.  Do not color with the sharpie, all color should be made using collage.  This is simply to reclaim any details that might have been lost.


  • Your entire social justice art piece should be cover in collage.  None of the original paper should show through
  • You must use colors you have torn from the magazines to add color to your artwork.




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