SJND Sophomore Participates in Local Art Apprenticeship Celebrating Diversity
Lauren Granados, a sophomore at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School, was one of 12 teenage artists selected by Oakland’s Collective Action Studio to participate as a young adult apprentice in their Heroes of Unity program. The program celebrates diversity among the community through visual arts, story-sharing and recording, and interactive pop-up events, within one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the country.
Heroes of Unity strives to empower the public to tell the story of the Bay Area’s evolving immigrant community through participatory printmaking and public programming. Lauren has interviewed and spoken with the public on behalf of Heroes of Unity to record and share the images, words, and perspectives of immigrants that constitute our local communities. Her group of fellow apprentices and artist mentors establish pop-up, participatory, and public-art workstations at community events, such as the Oakland Public Library, Oakland Art Murmur, and The Unity Council’s Dia de los Muertos festival in Fruitvale.
The program also encourages its teen members to create art pieces that reflect the organization’s cause. Lauren’s art piece, entitled We Won’t Be Silenced, is a portrait of her grandfather, Rigofredo Granados, who immigrated from Cuba in 1979. Like many Cubans who left their country at that time, he was unable to speak freely due to Cuban government controls. Lauren’s image portrays the struggles that her grandfather and his family encountered as political refugees before immigrating to the United States. The portrait, which was selected to be made into a silkscreen and was displayed at Oakland Library's 81st Street branch this past August, will be displayed at future community events where Heroes of Unity will be present. It will also be included in a permanent book collection of artwork that will be located at the Oakland Public Library’s main branch. After the project’s completion in November, her poster, along with the other teen apprentices’ posters, will be publicly displayed at a location to be determined.
Click here to learn more about Heroes of Unity.
Article and photos courtesy Karen Granados.