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T-shirt Factory Art

Collaborating with Youth-at-Risk through a T-shirt Factory

Since 2012, Hamilton District Christian High senior art students have collaborated on projects with street-involved and at-risk youth from RE-Create Outreach Art Studio. The students have explored emotional responses to colour through the Perspectrum Project, the relationship between the city and the environment through the Urban Roots Project, and the Eco-Art Competition.

T-Shirt factoryThe grade 11 sculpture and printmaking class has been making original silk-screened t-shirt designs for years with great success. Since RE-Create had wall space available at Cafe 451 Eatery and Exchange, our group created t-shirts, and displayed them for sale with the proceeds going toward helping customers in need to pay for their meals.

We visited the James Street studio and together with youth from the Compass school, made their silkscreens. Soon after, the sculpture class hosted a t-shirt factory workshop for youth at HD and created almost 100 unique pop-art t-shirts.

The students loved the unlimited variations of t-shirts they could make by changing the colours of the ink or the colour of the t-shirt. They knew that their work had to be of high quality because the garments would be sold to others.

Working collaboratively with street-involved youth in a joint effort to feed people was a fantastic experience. When one student’s t-shirts sold out, and the Cafe requested more, the whole class applauded with shared excitement that the project was going well.

This project fostered pride in good work, built relationships and community, and gave the HD sculpture students an opportunity to be followers of Christ, through art, to serve the hungry.

Jonathan DeVries, Art Educator
Hamilton District Christian High