See how a group of local high school students use art to explore social issues at an ArtHop reception at Fresno Pacific University.

Voice to the Voiceless is a retrospective of more than a decade of socially conscious art projects by McLane High School ArtVenture Academy students. The free ArtHop reception will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 7, 2019, in McDonald Hall, on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave, Fresno. The exhibit continues through March 8 in four campus locations: McDonald Hall, Sattler Hall 104 Art Gallery, AIMS Hall and Alumni Hall. 

Each school year Art Teacher Marc Patterson and other McLane High School educators lead students as they examine a social issue through art, including homelessness, immigration, civil rights, incarceration, agriculture, water and terrorism, always with careful attention to the stories of those who are often left out of the mainstream. In one artwork viewers can read the thoughts of a McLane student who grew up in the foster-care system. Another illustrates the shared landscape between humans and the animals displaced by human-made structures. Every work is based on multiple research methods from books to one-on-one interviews.

“From the beginning of the ArtVenture Academy, Mr. Patterson envisioned challenging students to conceptualize important identity and social issues with visual representations or images to express their understanding of these ideas and/or issues. Rather than start by instructing students on the technical aspects of art-making with a focus on the art elements from a part-to-whole perspective, he began with a big-picture approach, engaging them with a big idea or a provocative social issue from a whole-to-part perspective,” Bobbi Mason, Ph.D., professor emerita of education.

McLane ArtVenture artworks have been exhibited throughout California, including the Fresno Art Museum and Arte Americas, and in 2015 Stories of Home, the Southeast Asian Story Project was exhibited at the White House in Washington, D.C. More on the event at and



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations