INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world.


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Educational Equity in Marin County

I feel till this day that I let down my mother by not accomplishing my dreams and goals. – Alexis
It is the right of all people to have access to a full and dynamic education. In Marin County, one of the most affluent counties in the country, the educational inequities are still stark. Disenfranchised youth are not seen beyond the stereotypes and the geographic barriers that divide them and their communities from educational opportunities that can stop cycles of poverty and injustice.

Our Project

Our project was built into a one unit service-learning course, ART3801: Art and Community Engagement. Through our partnerships with Canal Alliance Youth Scholarship Program and Young Moms of Marin, we invited high school students and young mothers to be full participants in the course and project. We began working together in early February 2013 and over a series of meetings, engaging in conversation about educational equity as a local and global concern, we imagined how the medium of photography and public art can address this issue.

The Inside Out Project has specific guidelines for images: faces only and each person should look into the camera and express what the issue means to them. After exploring method and message as a group, we teamed up to exchange and document our stories about how education has impacted us and our hopes for the future—for ourselves, for our families, for our communities.

We recruited recent Dominican graduate, Alejandra Tamayo, a first generation college student herself, to be our project photographer. Once all the photos were taken, we collectively reviewed and selected each person’s most representative “face” then the group collaboratively curated the final layout for the large-scale installation.

The photos are shared with the Inside Out Project (IOP) who sends them back to us as 3’x5’ posters. On April 26th the group action event celebrates the “installation” pasting of the portraits at the Bellam Boulevard underpass in San Rafael. This location is important and symbolic as it highlights the issue of “boundaries”, “equal access” and the varied faces of our community. Our images and group statement will be a permanent part of the IOP global art project of which we are proud participants.

About the Inside Out Project

INSIDE OUT is inspired by French street artist and TED-Prize winner JR’s call for people around the globe to turn the world “Inside Out” by sharing a photo portrait along with a statement about what they stand for. In the past year, similar projects have been created in more than 9,500 locations in the U.S. and overseas. 

Digitally uploaded images, made into posters are sent back to the co-creators for exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.

Watch these videos to learn more about the INSIDEOUT project.



Facing the Gap: Educational Equity in Marin County project was made possible by the collective efforts of the participants: Marin families, current students, alum and faculty portrayed in this project and the following organizations: