I began teaching at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences in 2012. Although a large portion of Feltonville’s population is made up of middle class Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and African Americans; Feltonville is a very diverse middle class neighborhood, with significant populations of Korean Americans, Cambodian Americans, Haitian Americans, Jamaican Americans, Colombian Americans, Mexican Americans and other immigrants. It is estimated that there are 27 languages spoken in the neighborhood, so you can imagine the diversity and cultural richness that I encountered with my students.
When I introduced the Artistic Rebuttal Project to my middle school students, I really was not sure how it was going to turn out. My greatest fear was that they just would not care enough about the arts to be able to defend them, little did I know what was about to happen. So I decided to expose them to as many of the arts and let them experiment and decide how they felt about them. To my surprise students were so engaged, eager to try new things and share their experiences with art. It was amazing to see how much they had to say, and the journeys and processes they went through to be able to find an outlet to express these feelings and emotions. They experimented with different mediums including ceramics, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, fabric art, poetry, and even music. Once they found the mediums that they felt more comfortable with, students open their hearts and designed their pages for the project.
Through the Artistic Rebuttal Project, students learned that art is a universal language that speaks to the heart. We traveled together to places we could never imagine; it united all of us and joined us together in the same feelings. Art lifted our spirits and touched our souls, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. Art has the power to remind us of who we are, what we each have to offer and what we all have in common, art reminds us that we are all human.
Artist: Amy Scheidegger Ducos
Teaching Artist: Patricia A. Barrera
Assistant: Samuel Rodriguez
Site: Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences
MURAL ARTS PHILADELPHIA
The Artistic Rebuttal Project started in 2011 when Amy overheard a group of students on the Philadelphia subway talk about how useless an art degree was. Truthfully, she heard "art is useless" and experienced first of many art advocacy "aha" moments...If this conversation was happening in Philadelphia, an artistic mecca for some, it had to be happening in every city across America. Amy knew she had to do something about it.
The Artistic Rebuttal Project's mission is to provide an outlet for anyone to share their arts experience in an effort to advocate on behalf of creative careers, respect for artists and their legal rights. We also encourage discussion around the placement and application of forms of art that attempt to create deeper human communication.
We serve anyone who recognizes the artistic/creative process as a multi-faceted, productive, valuable process; appreciates the arts on any level and wants to share their reasons for loving the arts with the world.
We collect stories of arts' importance through one on one conversations, social media platforms, calls for rebuttals, collaborations and other forums. We share these interactions/stories online, during public lectures, events, in print and other visual forms to foster a wider appreciation of the arts.
To promote Visual Artists Rights and advocates for artists to be better educated about the history of artists (a.k.a. the historical perception of artists) in America
To promote the creative process as a career
Create an outlet for creative people to share their arts experiences
Advocate on behalf of artists and their skill sets, arts education and arts access
Stimulate people to make art