FPAP Art Education Program at STEAM Camp

Flint Public Art Project’s Art Education Program joins three organizations in Flint Community Schools’ STEAM Camp, July 24-28

STEAM Camp, sponsored by Crim Fitness Foundation, C.S. Mott Foundation, and United Way Genesee County, launches this week at Potter Elementary as a week-long camp at which 130 students from all nine elementary schools and one upper school work in grade-level groups with four non-profit partners: The Children’s Museum, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint River Watershed Coalition, and Flint Public Art Project.

STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math) Camp is designed to follow the engineering cycle: problem, discovery, research design, data collection, and analysis. FPAP is responsible for providing an afternoon art curriculum to support the morning lessons given by the other three partners. Jessie Wilkie, a 2017 FPAP visiting artist, and Sandra Branch, FPAP board member and long-term supporter, will be two of the instructors for this venture. The week culminates in a presentation of the art work produced in response to the lessons provided by the other partners.

Art is only formally taught in just one of the nine elementary schools in the city, and in the other eight, teachers struggle to get through the Common Core literacy and math components, leaving little time for science or social studies, and no time for art. Most of us realize that art is a crucial in the development of critical thinking, but it is also integral in the development of self-esteem.

Since launching the experimental Museum of Public Schools project in 2013 with teachers at Mott Middle College, FPAP’s returned for the first time this past winter to providing art instruction in an after-school setting in partnership with Flint Community Schools and Crim Fitness Foundation. FPAP’s Art Education Program rolled-out as an after-school program during the second semester at Pierce Elementary and Doyle Ryder Elementary.

Based on the success of these programs, we ventured into a medium-specific curriculum at Doyle Ryder during the summer session. This program, entitled Looking, Printing, Sharing, focused on print making. The instructor, Symantha Foremen (B.F.A. U-M Flint) instructed 20 students, twice a week, for a five-week session, resulting in a beautiful body of student work, and culminating in an art opening at the school where parents could see the work produced and students could practice the social art of hosting a “gallery” opening.

“The success of STEAM Camp will allow FPAP to position itself for future programming within the Flint Public Schools,” says FPAP Executive Director Joe Schipani. “This is an exciting opportunity for students that will enhance FPAP’s sustainability and capacity building.”

Student work, Doyle Ryder Elementary. Seeing, Printing, Sharing (2017)
Gel printing, Foam Plate Printing, paper. Grades 2-5