Artists and Activism


Students will discuss the work of environmental and social justice artists: B. Stephen Carpenter, Dominique Mazeaud, and Tyree Guyton. Walk through the process of creative activism. Students will consider how artists engage with research and visually represent it to communicate information about an issue.

Identification (What is the problem?)→ Investigation (What factors affect the problem?)→ Internalizing & Experimenting (Why is this important and how do I share its importance?) --> Sharing (How do I get people to listen?)


Students will be asked to write in their journal 3 things they know about the watershed they live in.

Instructional Input

Students will be introduced to the work of artist/activists B. Stephen Carpenter, Dominique Mazeaud, and Tyree Guyton and more importantly the why behind their work. After each artist students will be asked to read information from infographics on issues each artist tackles in their work (i.e. global water crisis → B. Stephen Carpenter, Poverty in Detroit → Tyree Guyton) Once completed students will be introduced to the overall project.

Guided Practice

Students will be given the research worksheet. Using the worksheet students will explore a factor affecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They will be asked to think criticallyabout why these factors are important to know about and make art about. These questions will also be used to guide them into the art making process.

Independent practice

The last portion of the lesson will take place in two parts: Research and Design

Each group of students picks (or is assigned) an issue affecting the watershed (chemical Run off, soil erosion, endangered aquatic species, etc) and fill out research summary sheet.

Students will use the information they found to begin designing art piece about their issue. Students will consider what is the most important factors about their issue to know and the best way to present their information visually.


During closure students will be asked to share the factor they chose to make art about and explain why its important to them and their community.

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