September 14th - January 27th

Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are

A collaborative photography/print-making series between CultureWorks Student Advisory Council + I Am Academy of Holland, MI on exploring black heroes. Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are will be on display in the corridor at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts September 14 – December 23.
OVERVIEW

The Exhibit

CultureWorks’ Student Advisory Council and students at I AM Academy reflect on black heroes and creatively explored “Ubuntu” together in terms of the visual arts through the process of printmaking. 

Beginning in September of 2021, students of I AM Academy borrowed cameras and learned from CultureWorks photography instructor and Board President Jack Burk on how to take photos that highlight their personal experience of Ubuntu in our communities. Inspired by this work, the Student Advisory Council at CultureWorks continued and expanded on this project, creating the series known as Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are, originally displayed at the Holland Area Arts Council and now moving to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

Ubuntu, roughly translated as “I am because we are”, inspired these works by middle and high school students – highlight historical and contemporary figures who’ve played a significant part in shaping who they’re becoming…by paving the way, shining a light, or lending courage through their words and actions. We’re so grateful for this community of saints, and for the community of creative souls being raised up in its wake.

The Organizations

CultureWorks Transformative Art + Design Academy is a Holland, MI-based, faith inspired nonprofit offering culturally relevant, transformative art and design experiences to youth from all backgrounds.  Their mission is to cultivate creativity, build community, and empower students, in order to foster wholeness in a fractured world.

CultureWorks provide a nurturing environment where professional teaching artists and designers work with middle and high school students from all backgrounds to inspire curiosity, develop talent, and build 21st century skills.

I Am Academy empowers African American adolescents to achieve their full potential by facilitating job readiness, cultivating relationships, providing college experiences, centering their identities, and supporting educational success. Through these efforts, we are ultimately changing the narrative and trajectory of communities.

The Students

CultureWorks Student Advisory Council Names:

  • Gaurav Tallavajhala
  • Madden Pasatta
  • Iain Foster
  • Duncan Kamara-Hagemeyer
  • Josephine Suarez
  • Evie Peacock
  • Jax Zavala
  • Zoe Sample
  • Lucy Alexander

I AM Academy

  • Gaurav Tallavajhala
  • Madden Pasatta
  • Iain Foster
  • Duncan Kamara-Hagemeyer
  • Josephine Suarez
  • Evie Peacock
  • Jax Zavala
  • Zoe Sample
  • Lucy Alexander

Related Programming

After reading Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña students will view the exhibition and create a work of art inspired by their own personal hero.

Interested in visiting this exhibition with your class? Contact our Arts Outreach Educator to book your tour!

Ubuntu Related Program

Little Big Read

This exhibition is in partnership with NEA Big Read Lakeshore and Little Read. The 2022 theme explores the notion that anyone can be a hero. This year’s book selections include: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, Miles Morales: Spiderman by Jason Reynolds, Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena, and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke and Circe by Madeline Miller.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

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