Why Art? Blog X…by Joe Szafarowicz

Why Art? Blog X

Learning in Detention

Throughout this blog I have indicated how impressed we are with the dedication, attention to detail, cooperation and enthusiasm of the youth in the art classes. They give us their best effort every class with few exceptions. We are also impressed with the progress they make in the short time that they are with us. They are learning.

We have also noted that staff who work with the youth feel the same way. Judges, counselors, JDO staff, all have observed that learning is taking place in detention. That awareness is significant.

A recent article in the Juvenile Justice Center newsletter, written by Marty McIntyre, Public Relations and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Toledo, Ohio Juvenile Justice Center attests to the fact that professionals throughout the system recognize that learning is taking place and that art integration can play an important part in programming for youth in custody.

I would like to include Marty McIntyre’s article for the JJC newsletter because it is beautifully written and captures the essence of what the art program attempts to achieve in each and every art class in detention.       

JJC Newsletter

Jan. 12, 2015

Volume 12, Issue No. 1

Learning Is Certainly Happening Here

A new art gallery, featuring two dimensional and three dimensional youth artwork, opened at the Juvenile Justice Center on December 10. Invitees to the official gallery opening represented media, business, friends, and family.

What the art represented on the walls and in display cases spanned an equally broad spectrum of talent, training and tenacity. The gallery opening theme (Learning Is Certainly Happening Here) derived from a similar observation made by one of the American Correctional Association auditors during YTC’s recent audit in November.

Both the “Art Integrated Math” program taught at JDC and the “Discovery Art” program in use at YTC are under the direction of Joe Szafarowicz and Jan Revill, of ArtWorks. As both instructors explained, the art standards utilized at YTC and JDC are the same education standards used statewide. Each piece of artwork displayed represented a different lesson focus. In addition, there were always “non-art” lessons (some planned, some serendipitous) cultivated in each project—learning patience as the artist waited for a section of a water color to dry, or taking a chance with a new medium or technique because the art teacher earned their trust.

Two YTC artists, chosen to represent the youth, also addressed the gallery, sharing their journeys as young artists.

Thanks to the Court staff who welcomed guests and also provided further information to the media representatives in attendance. The gallery opening was covered in both The Blade and the Toledo Free Press.

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