DHS turns inside out


Photo by: Daniel Ryan Carr

Plastered on the outside of the north wall are the faces of 32 students in Ms. Valery Smith’s art class who attended a field trip to the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum.

Students were perplexed when they saw their peers’ faces plastered on the north wall of the school when they arrived on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2014. The pictures were put up on the Saturday before, the students pictures were put up and they became a part of the french street artist, J.R’s work.

“This field trip idea started out with the fact that we always do portraits and I teach kids how to draw faces at the beginning of the year,” art teacher Ms. Valery Smith said. “We do this every year, but this year I got an invitation from the educational director at the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum, and she wanted to know if we wanted to be involved in the Inside Out project by French street artist, J.R.”

J.R is a French street artist who has become really famous for taking photographs of people’s faces and pasting them on buildings, roofs, mountainsides; just everywhere, and it always has some kind of social message,” Smith said.

He was coming to Dallas, and the contemporary museum was asking several schools to be engaged. Smith had been involved with them and got the privilege of being invited to the Inside Out project.

“I thought it would be an awesome experience to be able to partake in this project,” sophomore Avery Mayville said. “I believe what J.R does is extremely creative without vandalizing property.”

Pullquote Photo

Can art change the world? Maybe we should change the question: Can art change people’s lives?”

— J.R

The title of the project is very symbolic of what he is trying to achieve.

J.R doesn’t really explain the name a whole lot, but it’s like he kind of wants to turn the world inside out,” Ms. Smith said. “He is addressing issues that are a bit hard to talk about and putting them up as pictures where people can see them. In some countries it’s like the victims of drug trafficking violence. In other places it’s about political conflict and how people hate each other only because of their nationality, when they are actually a lot alike.”

The students felt proud of the pictures on the outside of the North wall.

“It was cool to do an installation on campus because I think they’re finally accepting the art program and giving us freedom,” senior Kailon Medrano said.

The Inside Out project is a unique endeavor that isn’t really like anything else.

“I would  describe the Inside Out project as a way of showing your identity through a different type of street art, that is pictures,” sophomore Hannah Bowen said.