Project SHINE’s gallery, located in Tyler School of Art’s atrium, features posters detailing the immigrant experience and will run through Nov. 12.
Project SHINE, an organization based off of research done more than three decades ago by Nancy Henkin, the founder and director of the Intergenerational Center at Temple, aims to help integration of immigrants and refugees into U.S. society.
Now on display in 16 different states nationally, Project SHINE’s main focus is to engage “college students, matching them up with immigrant communities, and helping to give voice to a group of people in our communities who are often not talked about,” national director from Project SHINE Patience Lehrman said.
With the collaborative efforts of Project SHINE, the Community Learning Network and Paul Sheriff’s sophomore graphic design class, an inaugural student poster gallery was opened in Tyler School of Art’s atrium on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and will be exhibited until Saturday, Nov. 12.
Each of the 15 posters represent a “different perspective from every angle of what the immigrant experience is,” Project SHINE program coordinator Katy Kauffman said.
“For this particular project, it was really about giving a voice to a disenfranchised population,” Kauffman added.
Sherif said that Tyler’s location in North Philadelphia, with an extremely fine design curriculum, makes it a “real cultural mecca in some respect.”
Students chose to visit the Coffee Cup Senior Center, Nationalities Service Center or the Arab-American Development Corporation, which are all located in close proximity to Main Campus. They interviewed the elders and got to know each of their stories, as well as share personal experiences.
Lehrman’s plan was to achieve a two-way integration system.
“We allow the college students to have a connection with the immigrant communities, learning about new cultures, learning about people who they otherwise would not have the opportunity to seek out on their own,” Lehrman said. “And also give the immigrant elders an opportunity to interface with native born citizens, expand their perimeters and their environments.”
The purpose of the exhibit in Tyler is to promote immigration awareness and equality.
“There are 16 different bills in Pennsylvania trying to limit immigration rights,” Community Learning Network faculty director Carol Harris-Shapiro said. “I think this is a very important educational kind of an exhibit that people can really learn from.”
The Community Learning Network promotes interactions of courses with the community.
“We’re about the student benefit and community benefit, and this was a really kind of out-of-the-box way of doing it,” Harris-Shapiro said.
Students who participated in the graphic design project worked on their posters for about a month and a half, Sheriff said. They also were required to write about their experiences.
Sheriff said he “really appreciated the energy” of his class.
“I was not sure that they were going to really cease the challenge and understand why this was kind of a magical assignment, but they all did,” Sheriff said.
Sheriff said he would like to continue working with Project SHINE and the Community Learning Network on projects that have to do with understanding North Philadelphia’s community.
“It’s kind of nice that the students know their neighbors,” Sheriff said.
Lauren Hertzler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Editor’s note: Senior graphic design major Lucas Ballasy was heavily involved in this project. Ballasy is a designer at The Temple News.]