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Art and Advocacy
Artwork created by students is displayed
The Reynoldsburg High School – Summit Campus Performing Arts Center became an art gallery recently for students in the Visual Arts pathway to exhibit their projects.

The exhibit included advocacy art about flavored tobacco products, marketing tactics and the health impacts of vaping 22 senior art students learned about as part of a partnership with the Vaping Task Force at Franklin County Public Health. A documentary was made with funding from the Ohio Department of Health where students expressed their views about the issue and advocated for policy change.

Student artwork about the dangers of tobacco products
Autumn Ritz, one of the seniors who took part in the advocacy project, talked after the documentary premiered about her family’s history of using tobacco.

“This project meant a lot to me. I learned about the health issues [tobacco] causes; I had a lot of ear infections because I was exposed at an early age,” she said.

De’Lana Sanders feels the artwork she and other students created is important to bridge the gap between information and art with a message to those who can change tobacco policies.

“It’s very important to hold your decisionmakers accountable. That’s one of the biggest parts of political activism, which is what this is ultimately about,” she said.

According to Tobacco Free Kids, 700,000 middle and high school students are vaping every day, with 85% of youth e-cigarette users using flavored products.