Our final project for the year has just been wrapped up and with that, it’s time to write my final blog post for the school year. We just had our PLP spring exhibition-themed “IMPACT” which went very well. We presented our work from our latest project “Cray, Cray, Yay! Yay!” where we looked at people who impacted our community.

The driving question for this project was…

“What makes someone a community impact maker?”

This whole project was based on an old apple ad called “Here’s To The Crazy Ones.”  The ad brings up many people who everyone knows today such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, and more people who’ve made a great change in the world and have left an impact.  Through this project, we explored what made each of these people impact makers and refined our definition of what it means for someone to be a “crazy one.”  We created our definition of community and impact until we were ready to search our communities for impact makers.

To help us gain a better understanding of what it meant for someone to be a “crazy one”, we watched movies in class to help us understand the types of impact that can be made.  The interesting part about all of the movies is that every character had their way of impacting the world.  Some were larger than others but that doesn’t mean that the smaller-scaled impact wasn’t as important.

The great part of this project was that the community impact makers who we chose had to be connected to us.  We had to choose someone who was a part of our community and present them at the exhibition as community impact makers.  I chose to research Michael Conway Baker, who is a musician, composer, and teacher currently living in Vancouver.  He is known for his music work for Expo 86 and work on David Suzuki’s television series “A planet for the taking.”  I felt that I connected to this community as a musician who has been playing music ever since I was young.  It’s something that I’m passionate about and still enjoys doing to this day.

From this project, I got to interview Michael Conway Baker to help me accumulate more research on him.  I was accompanied by Anders as well who helped me during the interview by asking questions.  My goal for the interview was to gain a better understanding of what inspired him to peruse music and how he feels his music impacted the community.  I was able to get this information and much more.  The interview lasted 40 minutes long and I’d say it was one of the best interviews that I’ve done in PLP.  It was very interesting hearing him talk about music which was a topic that I’m very familiar with.  I feel that familiarity with the topic helped with creating strong questions and asking follow-up questions.

After completing all of the research for our exhibition, we had to create what we were going to present in the exhibition.  We had to create a portrait which showed off our community impact maker and showed the significance and impact that they made.  I came up with the idea of creating a mosaic of Michael Conway Baker made up of images of his music work.  This was to show not only all of the music and the impact that it had but also the different experiences he had through his music.  You can see the portrait that I created below

To create the art piece, I used photoshop.  I had to collect each of the different album cover images and put them all into a folder.  From there I used a photoshop tool to lay them all out and rescaled each of the photos so they lined up perfectly.  I then took a photo of Michael Conway Baker and overlayed it on top of the images of his music work.  I played with the saturation and tint as well so that the image of him popped, but you are also still able to see all of his music well.  I’m proud of how this portrait turned out and it was fun presenting this work to an audience at the exhibition.  I learned a lot about using photoshop to create digital art and edit images.

Along with that, Anders, Matthew, and Asha were in charge of creating the introduction video for the PLP exhibition.  This video had to help introduce our exhibit at the exhibition and what it meant for someone to be an impact maker.  We had the idea of playing the apple ad at the start of the video, then presenting the definitions, and finally ending with a scene that had to do with some of the impact makers.  This part of the project let me be creative with my editing and I tried lots of new things I’ve never done before.  Along with that, our communication through this part of the project was on point and because of that, we were able to create such an amazing product in such a short amount of time.  Below you can watch the video we created.

The actual day of the exhibition went extremely well.  The setup went pretty smooth and presenting to an audience was fun.  There was a big show-up on the day and the group that I was in (the arts group) did a very good job working together to bring our stations to life.  Below is an image that I took after the exhibition was over.  We set up an activity for people to draw whatever they wanted on the board.

Overall, this project was a great end to the school year.  I’ve learned lots about having good communication between a group, digital art, and learned about the people in my community who’ve left a positive impact.