Artful Truth

Artful Truth began in the fall of 1998 when the Wolfsonian-Florida International University was invited by the Florida Tobacco Pilot Program to design a learning unit to increase student’s awareness of visual culture.  They discovered that by strengthening student’s ability to interpret visual culture they were less susceptible to manipulation by persuasive visual images- tobacco advertisements chief among them.

Summer of 2009, a group of tobacco prevention advocates selected to create an Artful Truth Exhibit with 300 local youth in Bay County. The total Visual Arts Center was rented to showcase the art and educate others.

Our initiative included the creation of two Anti-Tobacco Silk Quilts. Tobacco silks were used by the tobacco companies as early as the late 1800 to promote their products.  Women would buy silks and create quilts with the fabric.  Women were as addicted to tobacco silks as their husbands were to tobacco products. After hearing the history of the tobacco silks and this early form of deceptive marketing, participants used a 4×6 piece of fabric and choose to do a collection of owls. Under my guidance, teens took the fabric pieces and incorporated them into quilts. These quilts have traveled as far as Tallahassee where they were displayed on the first day of the 2010 Legislative Session.  They now hang in the Bay County Health Department and in May will be on public display at the Bay County Library.


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