One by one, high school students stepped forward to show an audience who they really are.

Julien Johnson recited his poem, “Thinking … Not Living,” about transcending limitations.

Grace Greene sang her song, “Untitled,” about overcoming doubt and fear.

Rowan Suhre performed his movement piece, “Walking in Heels,” about struggling for personal growth.

The students spoke their truth in a July 27 showcase for Imaging Self (Integrated Art 330), a new summer program from UW–Madison’s School of Education. Elsewhere in the Education Building’s airy Morgridge Commons atrium, fellow classmates demonstrated printmaking techniques and displayed artwork they’d created during their transformative experience at UW–Madison.

Imaging Self is a three-week residential program in which high school students build their arts portfolios while earning college credit. They gain access to UW–Madison’s world-class facilities, working with faculty and practicing artists. The goal is to learn more about themselves through personal expression in visual art, dance and theater, as well as making connections among various art forms.

Johnson came to the program with experience in writing and music, and was surprised by how much he liked visual art. He also appreciated the chance to focus intensely on self-expression for three weeks.


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