The Art of Protest

The Art of Protest


Guernica, Pablo Picasso

The Art of Protest project is an opportunity for each student to express an idea/concept on a topic of their choice. Using photography, editing, various media, and text, students will create a piece of work that conveys their opinions, thoughts and reaction to their topic.  Topics should have depth and be something the student feels passionately about.


Each project is required to incorporate both imagery and text.  The choice of words, style/font, spacing, size, color and placement all have an effect.  Text may be overlaid onto images, may be empty shapes filled with imagery. Do not minimize the power of properly used typography. You are designing with letters/words.  Take plenty of time to examine all the different variables.  Typography may also be hand drawn, or hand cut stencils.


Each student will create two separate projects.  They can two different versions on the same topic or two separate topics.

Your images should be your own.  If you topic is something you cannot photograph, it is acceptable to use imagery from other sources. Please read the details below on what is acceptable.

This description of acceptable usage is from the College Board website for AP Art:

Any work that makes use of (appropriates) other artists’ work (including photographs) and/or published images must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This is demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the source. The student’s individual “voice” should be clearly evident. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law simply to copy an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else and represent it as one’s own.



The images used should have strong use of symbolism.  The images can be manipulated in Photoshop, collages, printed out and manipulated then re-photographed and further manipulated.  Often reducing the information in the images, such as using threshold or high contrast will help the strength of the images.



Below are two quotes from a great book titles, Art and Fear

“to require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do — away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to not work is to not make mistakes. Believing that artwork should be perfect, you gradually become convinced that you cannot make such work. (You are correct.) Sooner or later, since you cannot do what you are trying to do, you quit. And in one of those perverse little ironies of life, only the pattern itself achieves perfection — a perfect death spiral: you misdirect your work; you stall; you quit.”
― David Bayles, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking


“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars. One of the basic and difficult lessons every artist must learn is that even the failed pieces are essential. X-rays of famous paintings reveal that even master artists sometimes made basic mid-course corrections (or deleted really dumb mistakes) by overpainting the still-wet canvas. The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about — and lots of it!”
― David Bayles, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

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