Eye on Design is a 15 week public art education program for third-graders that encourages civic involvement, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving through a customized residency program. Eye on Design guides students through the same process a public artist follows to develop a public art concept and seek an art commission. By the end of the 15 weeks, students have studied various forms of public art, researched their surrounding neighborhood and created a public art piece for their school. Eye on Design’s interdisciplinary approach incorporates language arts, history/social science and the visual arts. Students apply their learning to solve “real- life” problems and must actively utilize art theory, reading, writing, speaking, and math skills through the work they do. Eye on Design is a substantive and intricate program that empowers students to create positive change in their own community.
Social practice artist, Betty Rosen, is the Arts Council’s artist teacher. For 15 years, Betty has been conducting community workshops that result in one-of-a-kind mosaic artworks. She is a returning Eye on Design teaching artist in residence with the Arts Council and is passionate about taking students from a design-only model to a mosaic practice where they are able to design and fabricate in collaboration, ultimately installing the public artwork for the community to enjoy.
Although facilitated by the Arts Council for Long Beach, the program’s success is grounded in the collective expertise and commitment of a host of hand-selected community partners. These partners work collaboratively with the Arts Council to present a balanced program built on each partners’ strengths. Over the past few years Eye on Design has partnered with some truly remarkable Long Beach organizations to provide students with a valuable and rewarding educational experience. Eye on Design community partners include: Rancho Los Cerritos, Long Beach Airport, Long Beach Transit, Port of Long Beach, University Art Museum, Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Museum of Art.