Grant Mahan

Alternative Art Education


An exploration in empowerment, accessibility, and spongebob.

Spongebobing is an instagram live pop up art class. Instagram live is a social media function where anyone can hop on and participate. In this session, I performed spongebob "drag" and had friends, friends of friends, and children of friends hop on to draw spongebob characters from memory.

The purpose of this event is not to teach technical skill. Instead, art education was utilized to improve the quality of life for a group of people scrolling alone on a typically comparative social media app during a lonely Friday night. Through this practice, "students" mental health was transformed from loneliness to communal fun and self empowerment. Through the live feature of Instagram, bravery was also encouraged from students.

The Artist's Way

Due to the sensitive nature of this course, only a sample project image from me is provided to preserve student anonymity.

This online pop up course was modeled after Julia Cameron's essential self care text "The Artist's Way". This was a grassroots course based in art therapy. Throughout the course, students completed weekly journaling and personal adventuring as homework based in the text. In sessions, students completed art therapy based art assignments to compliment the homework. These assignments operated as a decompression and reflection on each weeks breakthroughs.

As a class, the establishment of a safe space was essential. This was accomplished through an open tone and vulnerability as a teacher, physical curation of a safe space, as well as the nature of each weeks art assignment. Outcomes of the course were bravery and the establishment of an individual artistic practice in students

Mural (Kind of)

When the opportunity presents itself - Students repurpose a communal "eye sore" through art. A vague compositional outline is created by the instructor, from this students may deviate how they please. This project teaches planning, collaboration, and scale.

This assignment is dependent on community needs (and legal parameters to be navigated by instructor/those needed). This specific project was asked for by the community.

YouTube Demo

While this is a personal project, I hope to explore this with others. The assignment is to take something you learn and make a demo of how others can do it. I did this personally with various painting resist techniques.

Through this students are encouraged to be brave. Students are empowered by their own expertise, and being "published" on a space like YouTube.