Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students

View Finders

View Finders is a new initiative that encourages high school students to “find their views” on a range of contemporary issues. Through meaningful interactions with community leaders, university faculty, and other students, participants explore a set topic, discuss as a group the various perspectives surrounding the issue, and communicate their own opinions and outlooks.

Confidence and Communication

View Finders programs help students build confidence. Leaders aid students in articulating and
defending their perspectives, showing them the value of their own points of view. View Finders also
helps students communicate with others, listening and responding to differing viewpoints in a respectful
setting. As part of the program, students communicate their views through discussion and other activities/projects.

Spring 2017 Program: Fashion Forward

High school students attending Sto-Rox Jr/Sr High School participated in Fashion Forward. This two-day program included a guest speaker engagement with Tereneh Mosley, founder and creative director of Idia'Dega and a field trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art to see the Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashionexhibition. Following the museum visit, students were given materials to design and create their own clothing. Gabby Kozlowski, a former PACES intern, received a fellowship from Pitt's Honors College to help develop and implement this program. Gabby wrote in her fellowship presentation that "with respect to enriching students, Fashion Forward is a setting for students to individually and creatively express themselves as well as expound upon collective ideas through discussion and projects. This program aims to aid students’ personal growth and artistic development, interrogating themes of style, culture, and history while being conducive to students’ own visions. Activities address evolution in clothing, the balance between utility and aesthetics, and notions of fashion as narrative, concepts which may not be discussed in art classes on a regular basis." 

Spring 2016 Program: Neighborhoods and the Built Environment

This program of View Finders was offered to students at UPrep 6-12 at Milliones, part of Pittsburgh Public Schools. We provided a walking field trip around the school's neighborhood (Upper Hill District) to the borders of Pitt's campus in North Oakland. Faculty from Pitt's History of Art and Architecture Department led discussion about the "built environment", architecture, urban planning, and perceived notions (perspectives) of different city neighborhoods. 

December 2015 Program: Women in Art

This topic focuses on women in art, including exploration of women as subject matter, women artists, and women art historians/art professionals. The overarching topic is used as a framework to encourage discussion and debate about how issues of feminism and perceived gender roles impact young students' lives. Students toured Pitt's Frick Fine Arts before heading to a field trip at the Carnegie Museum of Art.Thank you to the students and staff of Pittsburgh UPrep 6-12 at Milliones for participating in our December 11th program! These junior and senior students offered insightful comments and demonstrated critical thinking while viewing various artworks. PACES thanks Dr. Gretchen Bender and Maria Castro of the University of Pittsburgh’s History of Art and Architecture Department for their guidance and leadership during this engaging program.