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SMC clubhouse event promote sustainable arts

Emilie Kefalas | Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saint Mary’s art department featured different forms of social media through a variety of media arrangements Friday at The Sustainable Arts Café and Market at Dalloway’s Clubhouse.

Dr. Adrienne Lyles Chockley, social justice program coordinator at Saint Mary’s, said when we think of social justice, art, poetry and music are not usually the first forms of expression to come to mind, but these mediums were at the forefront of last Friday’s event.

“I wanted to have an installation of artworks created by students, and then [art professor] Julie [Tourtillotte] came up with the idea of having students sell their goods,” Chockley said. “Then the students chose to have all proceeds going to St. Margaret’s House, so it’s another way of promoting social justice by providing funding for a really important social program in downtown South Bend.”

All of the featured media, from the artwork to the poetry, had an underlying theme of social justice, including the selection of free organic snacks and fair trade coffee and tea, Tourtillotte said.

“You’re making sure that the coffee was produced in ways that were environmentally sound and also fair in terms of the people working are fairly treated both in terms of their wages and in terms of the kind of chemicals they might be exposed to in producing those products,” Tourtillotte said.

Student-created pieces such as eco-dyed scarves, notecards and recycled denim paper were all made in Tourtillotte’s “Sustainable Textiles” course. She said Selected pieces were all on display for show and for purchase.

“Everything from A-Z is the student’s work,” Tourtillotte said  “They fashioned everything really from scratch.”  

The student-made pieces allowed the Café to increase awareness about the justice behind production of the things we consume, Chockley said.  

“People didn’t know all these things were available on campus,” Chockely said. ” Just knowing you have a choice is an important issue to be raised today.


Contact Emilie Kefalas at ekefal01@saintmarys.edu.