Community & Arts

Providence Student Union designs billboards to promote Students’ Bill of Rights

“We were concerned about the time limit we had, because cars were passing by in about seven seconds, and we had to get a message out there,” said said high school student Kylie Lopez, who is finishing her sophomore year.
Photo for Providence Student Union designs billboards to promote Students’ Bill of Rights

Published on May 30, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The Providence Student Union (PSU) in partnership with the Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) has put up three billboards, designed by students, to advocate for the Students’ Bill of Rights, 23 articles that aim to “secure for students a safe, healthy, and engaging school environment.” The effort has been a priority of PSU since 2017.

The three billboards are located in Providence:

Orms Street
Along I-195
Eddy Street

UpriseRI met with some of the student designers and mentors who helped bring this project to fruition in the state offices employee parking lot by Orms Street.

“This is something our students wanted to focus the Students’ Bill of Rights on,” said Precious López, Co-Executive Director of the PSU. Twelve students engaged with the program over a ten-week period, learning design concepts and working virtually on Photoshop designs.

“I wanted to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone,” said high school student Kylie Lopez, who is finishing her sophomore year. Kylie is posing with a photo of her billboard in the picture at the top of the page.

“Right now a lot of the work I do is art related,” said Joseph Grajales-Sabater, a graduating senior who has ben working with PSU since his freshman year. “I was coming on board to support the students.”

“We were concerned about the time limit we had, because cars were passing by in about seven seconds, and we had to get a message out there,” said Kylie.

“The one that Kylie designed is based on the design of a bus pass,” said Joseph. So were thinking about things like that, how can we get messages across with symbolism, so people don’t have to read everything but at least get a glimpse at what the message behind it is.”

Both Kylie and Joseph plan to pursue educations and careers in the arts.

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson was one of the artist mentors on the project from the Brown Arts Initiative.

The job of Jazzman and the other mentors on the project was to “help students learn some design fundamentals and give them some feedback and support and reflections as they came up with their designs.

The students had to learn about legible fonts, complimentary colors so that the billboards “pop” and “finding ways to show and not tell in your designs.”

The billboards will be up for at least a month.

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