Howard Area Community Center in Rogers Park


Sculpted paper pulp, embellished and strung with beads

Participating Artists – John Aristide, Yoweri Barasokoroza, Yves Jerome, Menuka Kafle, Pornthip Kxwvahichakul, Fashion Saunders, Samantha Wright

Teaching Artist – Kristin Abhalter

The Howard Area Community Center is not just a place, but a true community of people who come from many different countries and cultural backgrounds to unite in education and self-discovery.

In developing this project, I chose to introduce an activity that transformed everyday materials into new shapes and colors.  As a group we collected classroom waste from the recycling bin and blended it with water to make paper pulp that we used to make decorative paper.

Throughout the week of the project, students shared their new skill with each other and expressed joy in being part of a transformative process.  As artists, we were able to communicate with the materials when verbal communication proved difficult. We transcended language barriers with color, pattern, and process.

The shapes in the work symbolize the infrastructure of our city, the paths we take to move around, and the individuality we seek and celebrate within our communities.