As part of our program of “Conversations with Children” about social activism, Fresh Artists has designed an innovative way for a creative group of kids to be philanthropic: a miniature graphic design business for 3rd-5th graders! Twelve kids at Hancock Elementary School are piloting the new Fresh Artists “Sign Studio” in their after-school Art Club and producing in-store signage for the new Weaver’s Way Food Cooperative opening in Chestnut Hill in June.
The young designers work with their “client”, Josh Giblin, graphic designer and Merchandising Manager for the 35-year-old food co-op, and make paper-mosaic signs that will be used to identify products within the new store. Apples, bananas, tomatoes, peaches, peppers, garlic, collards, blueberries and toilet paper are some of the first pictographs to come out of Sign Studio. The kids make art on cut up cardboard boxes pulled from the recycling dumpster at the Co-op. Each piece of art will be photographed at high resolution and the digital images will be available to co-ops, restaurants and cafes for a donation to Fresh Artists. A full line of more than 50 images will be available within the year.
The kids learn about graphic design as a profession, working with a client to achieve objectives, and have a weekly “crit”, just like in art school, where they show their on-going work to Josh, and get feedback from him on technique and design.
Hancock Elementary’s amazing art teacher, Robyn Miller, has perfected the art of teaching mosaics using cut-up hardware store paint sample chips to make brilliant artwork. She eagerly agreed to trial this pilot program in her after-school Art Club. Although Weaver’s Way is our first client, we have discovered hundreds of small, community-owned food cooperatives across the country providing a potentially lucrative niche market for the children’s artwork. We feel that the values of small member-owned grocery stores featuring healthy, locally-sourced food is an excellent fit with Fresh Artists’ values. Conversations about healthy food are heard while the kids work and fresh fruit samples from the Co-op fuel the Studio’s work sessions. We, too, are “locally-grown” providing a vibrant alternative to traditional “corporate” artwork to businesses needing decoration for their facilities!
The young artist-philanthropists are donating their time, and the funds raised in placing their artwork in Weaver’s Way will be used to deliver many boxes full of much-needed art supplies to a severely under-resourced public school in Philadelphia. The children will be honored guests at the opening of the new store, and will physically make the delivery of art supplies to the children in the selected school. We welcome inquiries about using this unique artwork in your business.