Originally posted May 14, 2020 on the 'Student Perspectives on the Art Collection' blog.
"I occasionally heard things about the Flint water crisis growing up in Wisconsin but didn’t understand how or why it happened until I came to GVSU. A flier was taped to one of the paper towel dispensers in a Holton Hooker Living & Learning Center bathroom that read, “Flint water is so corrosive; GM won’t even use it on their motors.” I couldn’t believe that a city would subject their citizens to such danger, and I later learned about the unsafe lead levels found in children and babies. Vast amounts of information can be found on this issue including a first-person perspective from the children of Flint Michigan, a perspective that commonly goes unheard and unseen. GVSU acquired a collection of 113 artworks by student artists from 6th through 8th grade at Linden Charter Academy in Flint that express what it has been like growing up in the midst of the Flint water crisis.
In this drawing, a student repeatedly depicts an object commonly used in protest, the picket signs. These signs carry messages that I don’t think a child should have to face; “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Help our People,” “Fix the Pipes,” “Clean our Water,” “Flint Lives Matter,” “No more bottled water,” and lastly “Save.” These signs give me only a glimpse of what these kids have lived through; surrounded by a fear of water--a necessity for all life--that they can’t safely access." - Megan Daniels, Studio Art major, Public & Nonprofit Administration minor, GVSU Class of 2023