Chicago Kaleidoscopes is planning a field trip to the National Veterans Art Museum, and the Chicago Kaleidoscopes and NVAM ASM programs have been working on developing a postcard / mail art project focused on related themes of peace and anti-violence. CK teens were asked these questions: What do you think should be done, so Chicago could become a more peaceful city? What are your thoughts and feelings about shootings in Chicago? How can you, as a teenager with a powerful voice, articulate your thoughts about creative solutions to the problem of violence in Chicago?
We talked about the poetic form called the epistle, and we looked at examples of mail art for inspiration. It was suggested that CK teens begin their epistles with “Dear Chicago…”
Life isn’t going to offer you many roads
But I hope you choose the road to success
Stay in school
Stay away from drugs
Stay around people who inspire you to do better things
Stay around people who bring out the best in you
But on your journey from toddler to eventually adult
I want you to know that i will always have your back
I will always inspire you
I will always guide you towards a life of happiness and success
No matter what mistakes you make I will always love you
As long as you stay by my side, I’ll always protect yours
The best advice I can give you is to think about everything you do
I’ll always love you
I like to ride you to school,
That green color that makes you look cool.
I ride you anytime, ‘cause you’re the best—
Even when the weather makes you a mess.
You’re like gold from a treasure chest.
You help me get somewhere faster for my quests.
above: Patrick Gale Putze. “Untitled.” Drawing mounted on panel. Photo: Shanley Chien/Medill, from “Bike Art Show Wheels to a Close.” Image used with permission. www.patrickputze.net