05 Apr Covid, Coincidence, and a Book Arts Connection
This past year has been difficult, to say the least. But even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, connections are still being made in the Book Arts Program, along with some pretty cool artwork.
Meet Jazmin Gallegos, K-12 & Community Education Specialist, and Victoria Dennis, senior in the College of Fine Arts and an intern in the Book Arts Program (BAP). They have a lot in common; they both enrolled in the U’s Arts Teaching Program (ATP), both selected the painting and drawing emphasis, and both chose the Book Arts Program for their practicum.
That, in and of itself, is a huge coincidence, as both the BAP and the ATP are small programs. But the clincher is that for Jazmin, things have come full-circle.
“It’s really quite a coincidence that Victoria and I are connected this way,” explains Jazmin. “Eight years ago I was doing my practicum in the Book Arts Program and now I’m the one supervising Victoria’s internship.” Pair that coincidence with the restrictive nature of COVID and the scenario seems even more karmic.
Victoria comments, “This practicum experience seems like it’s meant to be because it fits so specifically with my interest in community arts education. I love the fact that the Book Arts Program is so proactive in providing the community with arts-based activities, especially during COVID, when people are feeling scared and isolated.”
One such example is the Hope Through Art event, which is provided by the student-based Multicultural Student Council at Salt Lake Community College. During this two-hour online lecture/workshop, Victoria and Jazmin will assist in the art-making activity and they also prepared all 100 of the art kits for the students.
“Victoria has been helping extensively on prepping materials for our K-12 Book Arts Virtual Treasure Chest Program, says Jazmin.” Having already reached roughly 8,000 students across Utah this school year, the Treasure Chest Program exemplifies what arts programming can do for rural and/or under-resourced students. “Although we aren’t doing in-person presentations at this time, we’ve adapted the presentation to book making tutorials and we’ve had teachers tell us that it’s been a lifesaver.”
“Not only has the Book Arts Program mentored our pre-service art education students for many years, but they have also saved spots in their coveted summer educator book arts workshops for art teaching students and have collaborated with our faculty to teach book arts workshops in our classes. It has helped make our students be better teaching artists!”
Beth Krensky, professor of Art Education and Area Head of the Art Teaching Community Education/Community Based-Art
Victoria will be graduating this May and she says she’s interested in graduate school but first would like to build her portfolio in community based art teaching.
“Seeing young people engaged in creating art and seeing how positively they respond is super rewarding,” says Victoria. “It’s great to see it happen in the Book Arts Program but it’s even more exciting knowing that people who are underserved will have the opportunity to engage in art.”