The "We Are One Inside Out Project" as part of the Clemente Course
In March of 2014, as an outgrowth of the Clemente Course, Clemente students at East High turned their school "inside out." Although East High School is now 63% “minority” with Latino, Pacific Islander, Asian, and African American students and student refugees from around the world in its classrooms, many in Salt Lake still imagine the school as it used to be—predominantly white.
The Clemente students wanted to show East High's true face to the world. Using ordinary wheat paste and long handled brooms they pasted 100 large format (3' x 5') posters of their classmates on the exterior walls of the school, along 1300 East and 800 South. The black and white portraits, created by Trisha Empey, were selected to reflect the current demographics of the student body in a visually stunning public art exhibit.
Calling their public art project "We Are One," the students wanted to celebrate the rich diversity at their school, encourage mutual respect and unity, and spark conversations about the changing face of Salt Lake City.
Inspired by their study of French street artist JR's international Inside Out project (http://www.insideoutproject.net/) in their art history class, Clemente students were led by Jorge Rojas, their instructor, who helped them develop the project, which included inviting Empey to take photos of over 300 East High students after a multicultural assembly on February 28th. Under Rojas's guidance, students also created their own video about their project with Spy Hop, a nonprofit organization in Salt Lake City, teaching media to young people. The portraits were created by Trish Empey, a Salt Lake City photographer and artist with an emphasis on black and white portraiture.
Watch The "We Are One Inside Out" video:
"We Are One Inside Out Project" Wins Prestigious Schwartz Award
The Utah Humanities Council received a prestigious Schwartz Award at the 2014 National Humanities Conference held October 30 - November 2 in Philadelphia, PA for the We Are One Inside Out Project.
The Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize is awarded annually to up to three programs for outstanding work in the public humanities. The Schwartz Prize is awarded annually to only three councils for innovative programs that have had a significant impact on citizens, organizations, or communities in their states. For more information on the Schwartz Prize, click here.
Media Coverage of the “We Are One Inside Out Project"
• Fox 13 News coverage of Clemente Course students’ public art project the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
• KUER radio interview with Jean Cheney and Jorge Rojas on the “We Are One Inside Out Project”; follow up interviews with Clemente students in May
• KCPW radio interview with Jean Cheney about Clemente Course
• 24SaltLake initial story on “We Are One Inside Out Project”
• 24SaltLake follow-up coverage of the “We Are One Inside Out Project”
• KUER radio story on the students' gracious response to vandalism of the "We Are One Inside Out Project"
For a closer look at the We Are One Inside Out Project, including photos of the installation and all of the student portraits, click here!
Major funding for Clemente is provided by: Alternative Visions Fund of the Chicago Community Trust.