Story and Illustration by Tyler Schultz
Challenging the perpetuation of harmful societal masculine norms, design students from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi partnered with The Purple Door to create a campaign showcased at K Space Contemporary.
Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Andrea Hempstead, my classmates and I were challenged to create an engaging campaign designed to educate the public on the dangers of these harmful norms.
Titled Out of Character, the campaign tasked us with raising awareness about hypermasculine norms and the harmful effects they have on individuals, families, and society. With the intent of opening up a dialogue with the community, the exhibition aims to ask, “What harmful norms do you unknowingly perpetuate, and how can you help to stop them?”
The campaign challenged me to step back and ask myself the effects harmful societal masculine norms have had on my own life and in what ways I might perpetuate them. Every student faced these same questions…our projects being a reflection of our own experiences with the topic. For me, I took a focus on childhood and fostering healthy emotions in young boys. For others, it looked like combating these norms in the workplace, school, or in relationships. Regardless of approach, the campaign gave us each a unique opportunity to partner with a local organization and make an impact in our community.
The exhibit is open now through December 18th at K Space Contemporary. A reception for the designers will be held at K Space Contemporary on Friday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 9:00PM during ArtWalk. The exhibit features student designers – Victoria Contreras, Amanda Espericueta, Colby Gregory, Cody Guerra, Sarah Hebel, Catherine Henke, Kylie Marchitello, Shaylee Patterson, Paige Presley, Hannah Ryan, Jacob Sazon, Tyler Schultz, Richard Solis, Alexandrea Stubbs, Azalea Valadez, and Sierra Vela.
The Purple Door is a nonprofit based in Corpus Christi that aims to empower and educate the community on domestic violence and sexual assault, with the goal of ending both in the Coastal Bend. The Purple Door offers all services confidentially and free of charge, available to anyone experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault. For more information on the organization, what they offer, or how you can get involved visit their website here.