Students from Orchard Knob Middle School, Howard School, Brainerd High School and Hixson High School participated in workshops led by Mark Making, a local art-based nonprofit organization, exploring the power of advocacy and citizen participation in societal issues.
The 133 participants also gained basic knowledge of circuitry and the electric current that powers traffic cabinets, informing the creation of pictograms.
“The Chattanooga Department of Transportation is glad to partner with Mark Making and highlight Chattanooga’s talented youth,” said Blythe Bailey, CDOT administrator. “Chattanooga is a city of creators, and this project celebrates the unique perspectives of our local teens with the public display of their artwork on traffic signal cabinets in East Chattanooga.”
These pictograms feature a path between a battery, representing a student source of power, and a light, representing the results of student efforts to impact a societal problem. The pictograms, along with an advocacy letter were sent to national and local political representatives in an effort to advocate for students’ causes such as crime, gang activity, noise and litter.
“We have some incredibly creative and civic minded students in Chattanooga,” said Katelyn Kirnie, director of Public Art. “Frances McDonald has done an incredible job with Mark Making’s Life Energy program to help students express themselves on issues that directly affect them ”
Six of the 133 student participants’ pictograms selected by a committee including Mark Making board members, Chattanooga Public Art Commission members, local artists, and members of the community were installed on traffic cabinets selected by CCDOT. These winners are Sarah Bargerstock, Daisha Draper and Kensha Moore, Sabrina Eldridge, Cody Hutchison, Jade Sharp, and Xavier Wood.
The unveiling celebration of the six traffic boxes designed by local teens will be Thursday, May 31, at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue.
Partners of the Life Energy project include city of Chattanooga, Public Art Chattanooga, Chattanooga Department of Transportation, and the above listed schools. This project was funded in part by Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Hazel M. Hutcheson Foundation, and the Hand Foundation.