How teachers can turn their classrooms INSIDE OUT through portraiture with artist JR

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There’s a reason why people in the Renaissance commissioned masters to capture their likeness in swirls of paint, why people in the 1800s flocked to studios to have their daguerreotypes etched on silver plates, and why even today we stand with arms extended to snap a steady stream of selfies. Portraits? They’re powerful.

No one knows this better than French artist JR, whose super sized black-and-white portraits have been pasted on walls, scaffolds and rooftops all around the world. As the winner of the 2011 TED Prize, JR launched the global art project, INSIDE OUT, to share the power of portraiture with the world. The INSIDE OUT project invites anyone, anywhere, to take portraits in their community with a social message in mind. JR’s studio then prints them up as large-scale posters and mails them back to be displayed in a public space. So far, more than 300,000 portraits have gone up in 140 countries. Schools make up more than 30% of the project participants.

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In schools, the project can be a classroom catalyst for starting conversations on social justice, tolerance and the power of art. Over the next few months, INSIDE OUT is making a special commitment to education — and if you’re an educator, they need your help!

As an educator, you can participate in the project by sharing your students’ portraits in the form of a giant mosaic. To get started, follow these 4 simple steps:

  • Register as a group leader by emailing education@insideoutproject.net.
  • Take portraits of students, teachers and any other members of the school community.
  • Send INSIDE OUT these portraits (as high resolution photos) via Dropbox or WeTransfer. After your photos are approved, JR’s studio will edit, print, and ship the portraits back to you.
  • Paste these portraits on your school walls or in another visible place.

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By participating in INSIDE OUT, your school will be part of a global art initiative that’s changing the world one poster at a time. And if you’re in in one of the following states in the US, you can help INSIDE OUT in their drive toward inspiring actions in schools in all 50 states. Email education@insideoutproject.net for more information.

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
Arizona
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
North Dakota
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
Nevada
Ohio
Oklahoma
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Virginia
Vermont
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming

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