Friday, June 19, 2009

The Lab Did Some Very Cool Things This Year

The Lab, a program in the St. Paul Public Schools founded by Mary Tinucci, is growing at a rate that is nearly exhausting just watching it from the outside. It's hard to imagine all the work that must have gone into it this past year.

Check out all of The Lab news from the past year here.

My favorite project of the year was the Shoe Design project. From The Lab's web site:

"[I]n the Visual Lab, students from many schools have been designing and creating their own shoes. Inspired by the collaborative project between Beautiful Losers & Nike, “Make Something!!! from Nothing,” where designer Jesse Leyva designs sneakers with youth. “Start thinking about storytelling in your art,” says Leyva to his students, encouraging them to think about their own clothing and ask, “What were they [the designers] thinking when they designed it?” and “Why did I buy this?”

Using some of these ideas, Lab students begin with an outline of a high-top shoe and plan out their color scheme, textures, and decorative accents for their shoe design. Next, they translate their design to a blank canvas shoe in the style of the “Chuck Taylor” using paints, paint markers, glitter, glue, beads and other materials. The group has used this activity to talk about individual identity, ideas of “cool” and fashion, and self-expression.

After our small groups and Enrichments are over, Lab staff will be heading out to the programs to conduct evaluations and distribute the next volume of The Lab’s Poetry Anthology. The book is at the press right now, to be printed and bound in a couple of weeks. Designed by a volunteer graphic designer and student in The Lab, it includes poems written by students through this semester. Get a sneak peak at the cover and few poems here!"

To get involved with the Lab, click here.

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About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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