“Faces of Flint:
Art & Design of an American Community College” Art
Fiji National Museum
Suva, Fiji Islands
July 17-24, 2001
Faculty Organizer: Mara J. Fulmer, Assistant
Professor/Program Coordinator in Graphic Design, Mott Community
College, Flint, Michigan USA.
The artwork that was exhibited at the Fiji
Museum, July 17-24, was created by participants in a cross-cultural
educational study tour program travelling to Fiji and held
through the Charles
Stewart Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. The
majority of the work here was produced by students, graduates
and two faculty from the college. In addition, two other participants
are from other parts of the USA, including New York and Idaho.
Their art experience ranges from novice to professional and
Flint, known as a blue-collar automotive
factory town in mid-Michigan, just north of Detroit, in Americas
mid-west region, is best remembered as the birthplace of General
Motors and the American labour movement. This was highlighted
by the famous "Sitdown Strike" which lead to the
creation of the United Auto Workers union. In more recent
times, it became the target of parody in the satire documentary
by Michael Moore, called "Roger and Me", which tried
to take an ironic look at the effect on the community of the
closing of many of Flints automotive factories by General
Many of the students at Mott, named for
Charles Stewart Mott who was one of the original founders
of General Motors, are from families whose lives have revolved
around the automotive industry. Many of them, their parents,
aunts, uncles and cousins may have worked in the factories
there. Many others, with no direct involvement in the industry,
have in other ways been affected by it and its pervasive part
of the local economy and social structure. For many, they
are the first in their families to go to college.
These students are very much representative
of the hardworking, curious and industrious American culture.
Their work shown in this exhibit, was meant to provide our
hosts in Fiji and the Fiji Museum in particular, a glimpse
at who these students are, the world they live in, and their
interests and everyday lives. These are meant to be "conceptual"
self-portraits that tell you more about the participants than
just what they look like. Identity goes deeper than face value
and we hope that by participating in this program, the workshops
and the general cross-cultural experience, these students
will have begun to re-define their identity in the context
of our global village and shared values.
"post" Fiji Art Exhibit.