An Abstract Exploration of Bullying

One in seven students in grade K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying, and about 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying.

Students express their emotions through abstract art

Students express their emotions through abstract art

We saw this bullying epidemic as an opportunity to help students translate their feelings through poetry and art, and it’s no surprise that the 3rd and 4th grade students at PS 46’s BTB Extended Day Program took to the challenge.

First, students read Love to Langston and DeShawn Days by Tony Medina. Over two workshops with Tony, students wrote persona poems about bullying. They had the option to take on one of four personas: the bully, the victim, a conflicted friend who can’t decide whether to step in, or a protector. Most students chose to portray the bully or the victim of bullying.

Tony shares laughter with students of BTB's After School Program

Tony shares some laughter with students

Having written their poetry, students were ready to begin the art portion. Our teaching artist, Barb Korein, illustrated the difference between abstract and realistic art.

We encouraged them to reinterpret their writing into expressive abstract pieces using three different mediums of art: collage, watercolor, and cray pas.

Students later revealed their final pieces!

RSVP to have an exclusive look at this amazing abstract art project and other student work at our upcoming one-day pop-up exhibition on June 17th at Bosi Contemporary. More details can be found here. We hope to see you all at the show!