Visual art and graphic design are elements that are integrated into Chicago Kaleidoscopes. Here are several examples:
- We have used visual art as inspiration for creative writing projects that CK teens have developed. Teens have written ekphrastic poetry (poetry inspired by visual art works). Read Faith’s poem “Underwater You Are,” which is inspired by Chicago-based artist Philip Hanson’s painting Poem without Words: Blue Swallows.
- CK teens design and make their own chapbooks. As they prepare to make their handmade chapbooks, we talk about how graphic design goes into the design and printing of books — e.g. typography, book cover color schemes, and so on.
- We have talked about how graphic design relates to creative writing and running a business, for instance how graphic design goes into product development and development. Several guest speakers who have talked with CK teens, such as Christen Carter from Busy Beaver Button Co. and Tanner McSwain from Uncharted Books, have facilitated discussions about connections between graphic design, writing, and other aspects of running a business.
Creative writing is one central focus of Chicago Kaleidoscopes, but other art forms and subjects inform CK’s pedagogy. A particular art form can be studied and explored on its own, and it is fascinating when different art forms are brought into the mix — especially when creative teens demonstrate what wonderful arts projects they can develop and complete.
— Dan G.