The Glass House and S.T.A.R. Present:
Through Your Looking Glass Social Justice Exhibit
Thank you to New Canaan Historical Society + Museum for generously hosting the exhibition during October4Design.
All photographs by Paul Bickford, @PaulBickford_photo
Freya Goldenberg, 11th grade, New Canaan High School
Take a Look
As a white girl, I constantly educate myself in order to maintain my alliance to others. This piece of art is a “check-in point” for me and anyone else that cares to think deeply about their position in a world where social justice is imperative. It may also be a moment of realization that you/we/I are not doing enough or that our morals are in the wrong place.
Olive Goldenberg, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
Changing the World one Bracelet at a Time
To me, social justice means fighting for what you believe is important and making a difference to help your community. I like to wear my activism, whether it be on my t-shirt, sweater, shoes, jewelry, etc. -- which is what inspired me to make this piece of art.
How do you show your activism?
Hoop Dreams, 2017
48 x 60 in
Acrylic, charcoal and oil on canvas
Oliver Forrest, 7th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
One Team, One Dream
Lego Animation/Stop-Motion Video, 1 minute, 30 seconds
This depicts students from different backgrounds and with different reasons to feel like “outsiders,” in school dealing with social injustice, prejudice, and exclusion.
Luca Periera, 12th Grade, New Canaan High School
This piece tells the story on the issues trangender people have been struggling with on the medical area. From being insecure and scared to get help from professionals, to even being denied getting medical help, transgender people have struggled. As seen on the left of the piece, there are many estrogen and testosterone pill bottles, which are common hormones taken when going under transition from one gender to another. In the middle white stripe, the word "equality" is broken up and falling down the piece, showing that there is no equality and that we must seek out justice towards trangender individuals. And throughout the art, there is ripped up money scattered everywhere, showing that not only there is a mental side to these issues, but also not being able to afford to get treatment.
Juliana Contadino, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
My piece connects to social justice because it is modeled after a waterfall and its shape. The fashion industry is the second biggest contributor to pollution in the world behind oil and gas production. The rise in fast-fashion popularity leads to countless amounts of materials and clothes ending up in landfills, damaging ecosystems and ultimately altering our climate. I made a dress from old deadstock fabric that hadn’t been used by its company so, instead of being thrown in the garbage and continue polluting, it was then sent to a fabric store where people like me could buy it and make it into something new. I made a sustainable and wearable representation of the water and ocean before it was touched with pollutants and garbage. Climate change is a big social justice issue that I feel people tend to overlook, and this is a reminder to keep our nature and planet clean and safe for the future.
Alexa Burroughs, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
All of Us or None of Us
My painting is supposed to represent the importance of belonging and remind us that all members of a community benefit from diversity.
Amelia Stainer, 7th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
Justice on a Face
To me, social justice means fighting for what you believe in and accepting differences between people. I love including social justice in my art and showing how important it is through drawings, paintings, and other types of art.
Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade,
Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
Peace is what unites us all. Without peace we cannot be together.
Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
Spray paint on canvas
This piece shows that even when you’re in a bad mood and if you’re really sad, you can always find happiness somewhere.
Hettie Fillingham, 10th grade, New Canaan High School
Women need control over their own bodies. I am frightened that my generation will have less rights than our mothers and this has encouraged me to make this artwork. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.
Melvin “Grave” Guzman
Acrylic, magnum, mixed media, metal, mica on wood
Layla Steed, 11th grade, New Canaan High School
Faces in the Crowd
The social justice movement itself has core values. However, how you choose to participate and what messages you choose to spread are up to you. This painting starts with four core colors: white, red, yellow, and blue. Those colors started to spread, and over time a mixture of colors started to appear and a piece of art (a community) started to form. This painting represents social justice in that it consists of people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and races, who have all come together to fight for something greater than themselves.
Sienna Hopson, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
Tidying His Bedroom
On a recent trip to San Francisco, I noticed a homeless man cleaning up his strewed belongings, just as any person would if their room was messy. People living on the streets are not all that different from us, they just make the most of what they have. They still need to clean up their sloppy rooms and wash their dirty dishes, except they don’t have a dresser to store their clothes and a sink to scrub their silverware. The dehumanization of the homeless population is an issue that has been implemented into our society and we have been conditioned to accept unthinkable living conditions for select individuals.
Lauren Mondschein, 12th Grade,
Greenwich High School
Kayla Perez, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
In our teen years many experience the long journey of self-identity and insecurities. This image I captured and created encapsulates the beauty we can find within ourselves. In a world where we are bombarded with the perfection of social media it becomes increasingly difficult to appreciate uniqueness, individualism, and personal beauty. An issue that generations before have not experienced, it is hard to break away from the screens and understand ourselves for who we are. As we seek social justice as a collective society, it is important that we start with ourselves to build the confidence that is essential for being a caring member of society.
Jose Diaz, 9th grade, Academy of Information Technology Engineering, Stamford
We All Bleed Red
Acrylic paint, markers
My art piece has the hand of a person of color reaching out. We are all humans and bleed the same color. There is no reason why we should hate or discriminate. Instead, we must stand together and that will make us stronger and bring peace to all.
Chalisse Papen, 12th Grade,
Greenwich High School
Acrylic, spray paint, neocolor, paint marker, collaged canvas on canvas
RiseUP for Arts/Stamford Murals
Blaze Your Own Trail Mural - Behind the Scenes
The Wellbuilt Co. offered a wall at 819 East Main Street in Stamford. Alissa Siegel, assistant artist Anabel Siegal, and youth artists, Bridgette Fabian and Angie Caceres, installed the mural and celebrated with a community block party.
The “Blaze Your Own Trail” mural provides momentum to grow community based public art throughout Stamford, CT. Stamford Murals’ public art program creates paid opportunity for youth and local artists as they bring joyful public art to the city.
The first mural was generously funded by more than 30 individual donors,
with Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund, and by the CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA, and the
Department of Economic and Community Development through an Artists Respond Grant. Generously supported by the Wellbuilt Co.
Melvin “Grave” Guzman
Vin’s 7, 2021
Acrylic, graphite, magnum, silica, mica on canvas
Lucas Carballo, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
River of Rust
To me, freight trains represent the blue-collar labor force across the country. This shot of a boxcar along a desolate lonely landscape represents how these people are forgotten in society.
Maddie Driscoll, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
Words We Read
Books are being censored and banned all across the country, and whether or not their contents prove offensive to some, it is important that all types of literature are available, thus cultivating one’s ability to distinguish right from wrong, come up with their own ideas, and most importantly learn to think for themselves.
Self Realization, 2021
Oil, paint, markers
A moment in which we find ourselves in this world.
Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan
Broken Home, 2022
Spray paint, mixed media
If everyone keeps polluting the Earth and not picking up trash, this is how the Earth will look (on left side). If people help keep the planet clean, then the Earth will look clean and healthy.
Charlotte Beecher, 11th grade, New Canaan High School
Fist of Fury
Graphite on paper
This is a sketch that is representative of the recent events involving race in our society. The fist is representative of the Black Lives Matter fist, and inside the fist is a scene inspired by a Black Lives Matter protest I attended. The backdrop is words that came to mind when I thought of social justice.
Ava Pertusiello, 11th grade, New Canaan High School
Poster board with photography/drawing
The social justice theme for my art piece is how society's toxic stigmas and widely adopted oppression of certain groups of people (race, sexuality, or a mental/physical disability, etc.) can severely damage an individual’s social mobility and skew their personal identity. The poem I wrote at the bottom corresponds with the photos in my drawing and details from Alice Through the Looking Glass. Alice is supposed to represent an individual who feels like they are confined in the corner of a room, and are not allowed to move between tables or switch their seat (representing their confinement to one place/role in society, and struggle to break free of social constraints), which keeps them systematically silenced. The message being portrayed through the far-right photo and the letter to Alice at the bottom is that if you choose to ignore the harsh outside perceptions that society pins on you, and only focus on your inner truth, then you will be able to become transparent, and find the ability to walk through “walls” (social boundaries). However, if you focus too much on the reflections of the world all around you, the ability to walk across boundaries ceases because you are now unable to distinguish what is true about yourself, and what is a false perception fueled by outside judgment. Staying true to who you are is the only way to push past your “assigned corner” and pursue the rest of the world. The character Alice embodies this theme because she navigates the upside-down world by staying grounded to reality and true to herself. Even through all her hardships and being pulled into all different directions, she does not allow herself to get lost/drowned out by the chaos.
Elena Dashi, 12th grade, New Canaan High School
This piece illustrates the grave disparities in our world today. Whilst the U.S. and other western developed countries face the hardship of providing affordable period products, in eastern countries periods in and of themselves are regarded as so taboo to the point where a woman is forced to spend her cycle locked up in a shed away from the men of her family. She is deemed “impure” and treated like a filthy animal as opposed to a human. This is highlighted in the article “Why India must battle the shame of period stain,” which served as the reference for the first woman depicted in the piece and the inspiration behind the overall message of this piece. This piece was created to shed a light on said beliefs and advocate for change. The two women are not different. Both are 30-year-old women who get periods and live on this planet. The difference is how their societies reactions to this fact.
Valentina Rivano, 12th grade, Greenwich High School
The Destruction from within the Fashion Industry
My photo inquiry explores how the fashion industry impairs the environment, and how can we fix it. The fashion industry is constantly evolving, with the growth of fast fashion Earth is in danger. Therefore, how can art show this? How can awareness be spread? By displaying how fashion can harm the environment and what can be done to fix it in a creative way, the truth can be exposed in a glamorous way that still teaches. Trouble in the fashion industry is not supposed to be romanticized, but maybe the best way to evoke the importance of this issue is by glamorizing art that exposes it.