Dispatches: Leaving Lahore, On to Islamabad

Read Rachel’s last post in her series on teaching art workshops in Pakistan here. You can follow her on Twitter @EducatorRachel and also on Instagram.

Teacher workshop in Lahore.

Teacher workshop in Lahore. We had about 20 teachers signed up and almost 40 showed up! Photos: Rachel Goldberg

I can’t believe it has already been over a week since I landed in Lahore. Four workshops, about 200 artists, curators, and teachers, and a whole new appreciation of Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, and the power of collaboration and storytelling through art. Just like Lawrence and other artists working during the Harlem Renaissance, participants here have worked together to tell their stories–some are stories of identity and personal struggle, others are stories about Pakistani history, from ancient to contemporary.

I have been struck this week by how similar we all are. We all want to make a difference, and we all want our voices to be heard (particularly by those we feel aren’t listening.)

Emerging artists in Lahore hard at work collaborating.

Emerging artists in Lahore hard at work collaborating.

Teenagers will be teenagers. They’ll pout about being separated from their friends, they’ll hesitate and struggle with a new group of peers, and then they’ll find their confidence and make amazing things happen.

Artists will be artists. They’ll walk around barefoot, pour tea on their paper and then paint with it, take too many smoke breaks, and keep a serious face during the goofy group pictures. They’ll also collaborate to create strong, powerful narratives that help us to understand their point of view, often on a profound level.

The details of personal stories here in Pakistan may be different than those I’ve encountered in my work in the United States, but many of their themes are universal–life can be very hard, understanding  history is important, and sometimes we have to sacrifice and make great change in the hope of creating a better life.

I’m looking forward to working with another 200 (give or take a few!) participants this week in Islamabad. I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing things they create!

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs

Dispatches: @EducatorRachel and Teens Workshop in Lahore

Read Rachel’s last post in her series on teaching art workshops in Pakistan here. You can follow her on Twitter @EducatorRachel and also on Instagram.

Talented teenagers as far as the eye could see at today's workshop! Photos: Rachel Goldberg

Talented teenagers as far as the eye could see at today’s workshop! Photos: Rachel Goldberg

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs

Dispatches: Responding to Jacob Lawrence in Lahore

Read Rachel’s first post in her series about teaching art workshops in Pakistan here. You can follow her on Twitter  @EducatorRachel and also on Instagram.

Art students in Lahore respond to Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series.

Art students in Lahore respond to Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. Photos: Rachel Goldberg

Yesterday I facilitated the first in a series of workshops I’ll be doing here in Lahore. I introduced a group of 50 art students from four local universities to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series (1940-1941), and we discussed how art can be a vehicle for telling stories and creating social change. I challenged the artists to choose one of Lawrence’s panels (I brought life-sized color reproductions with me) and to create their own work in response to it. Students used very basic materials (tempera paint, pencils, and paper collage materials) to create some spectacular art!

Working with the U.S. Department of State, I’ll lead two-day intensive workshops in Lahore and Islamabad for 100 emerging artists from across Pakistan. I’ll also conduct workshops and discussions with curators, gallery owners, and arts educators to further build capacity for artistic endeavors in Pakistan.

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs