Art Activity: Social Justice Bus
Recently, The Trout Gallery had the chance to talk to the artist Steve Prince. Prince believes that art can play an important part in bringing people together to support important causes. That’s why his art pictures often focus on things like taking care of the environment, treating people equally and believing in the good things people can do. His pictures are packed with details and people of different sizes that overlap each other so that it seems like they are in real space, not on a flat piece of paper. You can see that in this print Steve Prince made that is owned by The Trout Gallery and called Rosa Sparks:
In this picture, Steve Prince shows Rosa Parks at the front of a bus refusing to give up her seat to a white person when the bus driver tries to tell her to move. This is an important moment in the history of Black Americans protesting unfair treatment by white Americans. Steve Prince adds to this bus other people and symbols important to this history, like the black shadow of a man whose wrists are chained together showing is that he is not free. Notice that Prince doesn’t just show us the Rosa Parks story. He uses his imagination to put together lots of different things that relate to this story, but don’t happen at the same time or in the same place. He does this to show us how the courage and bravery of Rosa Parks is an important part of the larger fight to create equal treatment for Black citizens.
Now, it’s your turn to make a picture about an important cause that you believe in. Follow the instructions below to fill your own bus with people and symbols that represent a cause you believe is important in the world today.
Printed out bus template
Magazines or printed images
Step 1: Download and print out the template HERE; we created an empty bus for you to fill with the items that relate to the cause that is important to you.
Step 2: Pick a cause that is important to you. Steve Prince chose to focus on the fight against racism; I care a lot about women’s rights, so that’s what I filled my bus with. Maybe you care a lot about the environment, or animal rights, or religion. Whatever you choose, it should be something you feel it’s important to care about.
Step 3: Look through magazines for images that relate to your important cause. Use scissors to cut them out. (You can also print out pictures from the internet). Here is an example of the figures and objects I found; I included images of powerful women like Wonder Woman and Rosie the Riveter, as well diverse examples of other confident women. Get as many pieces as you can find!
Step 4: Experiment with arranging the cut-out pieces on the empty bus design. If you want to create a sense of real space like Prince did, you might put the bigger pieces towards the bottom of the picture and glue them on after you glue on the smaller pieces. Once you find an arrangement of pieces that you like, begin to glue them down. It’s fine to have some pieces glued partly on top of other pieces. That will make it look more like you are showing real space.