During the summer of 2018, Artist J. Leigh Garcia and I led a free art workshop for fourteen 5th-8th graders from the Madison, WI community. This workshop was funded in part by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Art Board and Lighthouse Christian School.


Students were prompted to answer questions about their memories of home in a daily journal. The students’ written stories inspired drawings that celebrated their unique drawing style. We did not place emphasis on how to draw the perfect eye or nose, but rather on making expressive lines that told a story.


Making paper outside with a bike powered beater was one of the workshop highlights. The students transformed a used cotton t-shirt into a beautiful pulp-painted sheet of paper using western-style papermaking techniques. The sheets of paper were then pressed and ready for printmaking!


Using screen printing techniques, the students transferred their hand drawn images onto their handmade paper. The curated pages were later hand bound into an artist book containing their stories of home.

At the end of the workshop, an exhibition titled Within These Walls is Home featured the students’ stories of home through comics, papermaking and printmaking.