The Friday afternoon meeting with the high school art students at LACE was a really interesting and positive experience for me. At the beginning of the week when we were assigned the workshop about the Aqueduct Futures exhibit I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the prospect. It seemed like quite the challenge considering my lack of familiarity with the exhibit. However, I was very pleased and impressed with the discussion and planning process that went into preparing for the workshop. In fact, I feel more hopeful for the ability of myself and my cohort to excel in the 606 process. By the time the workshop took place, I felt prepared and looked forward to the experience.
The workshop itself I felt was a success. In the end it seemed like we designed a program that required actually somewhat little input by us. We created a schedule and program that mostly allowed the students to engage with the artwork and then interpret it for themselves. My role as the timekeeper kept me engaged and required some modification of the original schedule. The students arrived late and needed to leave early, still though I felt we were able to give them a sufficient amount of time to both observe the art and do their own art. In fact, I think that our original schedule perhaps allotted too much time for those activities and the ultimate outcome was perfect. It was fun to see the students art work and to hear their explanations. I realize that community engagement is an important part of landscape architecture, but I never imagined administering a workshop like this one. Still though, I think that gathering a community and having them think critically and express themselves creatively is a really interesting way to learn more about how they think and feel about the issue at hand. I look forward to our next community engagement in Owens Valley and hope that we will have similar success.