Greenville Center for Creative Arts and The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative Upstate Class 34 partnered to launch Art Opens Doors, a one-day collaborative art project on Jan. 17 with 16 fifth grade students from AJ Whittenberg Elementary, Sterling School and The Charles Townes Center.
The student participants were selected by their art teachers to participate in the project at GCCA as a field trip. The day included:
- Pairing students with peers from different schools to engage in an ice-breaking activity, where they explored things they may have in common and ways in which they differ.
- Engaging in student team conversations about the activity with GCCA’s Brandon Fellows, Kephira Davis, Christine Moore-Bonbright and Elizabeth Wallace.
- Developing artwork with the Brandon Fellows to paint on a wooden door to represent the many ways that “Art Opens Doors” by bringing people of various cultures and backgrounds together around a shared appreciation for art.
“Our DLI team believes that children on the cusp of entering middle school will also enjoy meeting and learning in this colorful and vibrant atmosphere,” said Danielle Fontaine, 34th Upstate DLI Class member, visual artist and co-founder of the Brandon Fellowship. “The primary goal of the experience was to learn that people we don’t know have much in common with us, even if they may appear different, and that differences can make us stronger when we take the time to listen to and learn from each other.”
GCCA will host a special “Art Opens Doors” exhibition and opening reception featuring the doors painted by the students and Brandon Fellows Feb. 2 from 6 to 9 pm. After the opening reception, the exhibit will travel to the participating schools for public viewing.