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Drones for Art, Not War

Drones for Art, Not War

by DeVore Design, February 5, 2016

Photo credit: Drew Halverson

Drones are more commercial than ever, but many people still associate them with war. Yes, UAVs are used in warfare, but a group of students in Nashville, TN show they can also be used for good.

According to a blog post by Michael D Mitchell, a Maplewood High School art teacher, MHS students are using drone technology to explore ways to create rather than destroy.

With the help of Maha Chishty and Addie Wagenknecht’s artwork, students are learning to think of UAVs as expressive rather than oppressive, explains Mitchell’s post.

Photo of MHS students observing a UAV creating art. Photo credit: Michael D Mitchell,

Maplewood High School students observe a UAV creating art. Photo credit: Michael D Mitchell,

“They both have been gracious in their willingness to engage with MHS young artists to push the idea of using drones to create instead of destroy and to fuel thinking and questioning so that students might arrive at strong driving questions that will yield great art and viable solutions that they will present to a public audiences,” Mitchell said in the blog post.

A Parrot Bebop Drone was donated to the art department and will be altered to hold paint brushes, drawing utensils and other items students deem essential. According to the blog post, a student owned UAV has been used thus far.

MHS students and Chishty will collaborate via Skype to create a sculpture, which will be displayed at an East Nashville art gallery in February. The sculpture will be accompanied by a video projection crafted by Chishty questioning the use of drone warfare, said Mitchell’s post.

Mitchell points out this project aligns with the National Arts Standards point of relating “artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.” It looks like having fun with drone technology and learning can go hand in hand.

Read the original blog post here.