Summer Design Studio by Publicolor, a seven-week summer enrichment program that takes place each year, allows for at-risk teens in New York City to learn product design—and this year it’s all about textiles.
During this session, students are designing a Shibori dyed throw pillow with indigo and a woven accessory bag (pencil case, make-up bag or device cover).
"Publicolor really helps students by providing tutors, mentors and scholarships,” said Tyeem Lythcott, age 19. “In the summer we learn so many crazy skills like weaving on the loom and dying cloth in Shibori style, there is so much to keep us busy."
Students in the program this year are currently investigating design elements, discussing technique and testing the boundaries of their creativity. In previous years students were able to create drapery, garments, upholstery, wall hangings and coverings, furniture, home accessories and bags.
"Publicolor helped me talk to more people and follow my dreams in art and design,” said Lumis Terrell, age 15.
The program is held on Pratt Institute’s campus, so students can experience the reality of college. Summer Design Studio also offers disadvantaged youth crucial employment and work experience—every afternoon, students are involved in painting under-resourced but vital neighborhood facilities. Not only are students taught valuable skills and work ethic, but they are paid for it as well.
“Publicolor’s programs are phenomenal in that they enable participating students to give back to society,” said Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte. “We salute these students for being givers, for being developers of themselves and for being leaders.”
Research shows that low-income students who don’t have access to organized activities lose about two months of grade equivalency over the summer. According to Publicolor, its goal is for all of the Summer Design Studio students to return to school in the fall ahead of where they were upon departing for the summer.
In the fall, Publicolor will host an event called "Fall Crit" when students from the Summer Design Studio are critiqued by some of the most influential people in the design world. Stay tuned for additional details.
Benjamin Moore is a key sponsor, donating every drop of paint used at Publicolor.