PUBLIC ART YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM SUMMER 2016
OBSTACLES OF A LIFETIME EMPOWERED BY JUSTICE HORIZON CENTER, BRONX, NY
PUBLIC ART YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM SUMMER 2016
Obstacles of a Lifetime Empowered by Justice by OTP (Out To Paint)
Unveiling Celebration Monday, August 8th, 5:30 PM Horizon Center 560 Brook Avenue Bronx, NY 10455 Jessie Novik, Teaching Artist Yael Tsoran, Teaching Artist Assistant
About the Mural CAW continues its tradition of bringing youth empowerment and educational transformation through the arts. CAW has collaborated with the NYC Administration for Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Services and PAL to provide creative youth development programs to residents of the Horizon Center in the Bronx. The resulting mural is a powerful statement of hope and the power of redemption.
ACS works to improve the lives of young people through safe and secure custodial care, effective re-entry services and other protective services.
FROM BRIAN RICKLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO
Public Art is a Conversation At Creative Art Works, we know the artistic process is a powerful tool for creating meaningful conversation and shared understanding. In light of recent events in the news at home and around the world, the need for common ground among people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and points of view is ever more present in our minds. This summer, our Youth Apprentices and Teaching Artists worked with Horizon Center staff and with each other to answer the essential question: â&#x20AC;&#x153;What message should our art express?â&#x20AC;? As they gathered stories bridging generations, languages, cultures, identity markers and social stations, they also wrestled with harder questions about American history, race relations, food scarcity, public health, law enforcement, and the nature of access and opportunity. Some of these conversations were challenging, some were uplifting; in every case they led to a deeper understanding. As our young people developed their mural design, we also witnessed them developing the ability to passionately advocate for their ideas while simultaneously respecting the perspectives of others. Today, we are excited to share with you this youth-generated work, which we believe embodies the spirit of redemption. We hope that this art will continue to encourage robust and fruitful conversations for many years to come.
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Darell is from Brooklyn. He has also been an Apprentice in Creative Art Worksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Multimedia Program since the spring of 2016. Darell enjoys hanging out with his friends, and wants to become a carpenter when he gets older, because he likes to build things.
Megan Megan is part Puerto Rican and part Dominican. She lives in Manhattan. Her favorite food to eat is pizza. She loves roses and enjoys listening to music. Currently, her favorite artist is Nicki Minaj. When she gets older, she hopes to become a lawyer, because she feels she is great at persuading people.
Leon is from The Bronx. His favorite food is white rice and fried chicken. He enjoys playing basketball. When Leon gets older, he hopes to open his own construction company, because he likes working with his hands.
Ramel is from Harlem. Many of his friends call him by a nickname. His favorite hobbies are freestyling and rapping. Ramel enjoys watching television. His favorite T.V. show is Family Matters.
Gregory is from The Bronx. Gregory enjoys painting, and has experience painting his house. His favorite sport is baseball. Gregoryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to become an architect because he likes to draw.
Jessie Novik, Teaching Artist
Jessie is a healing arts specialist, Teaching Artist, and muralist with a Masters in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute. She earned her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where she concentrated in painting and sculpture. Her artwork has been exhibited in several galleries and public locations, primarily throughout New York and Connecticut. Jessie has a third degree black belt in karate and teaches selfdefense classes. Whether it be visual or martial arts, Jessie is passionate about teaching practical skills to young people and modeling how to process feelings in a constructive way.
Johnny is from the Lower East Side. Johnny is very into art, especially graffiti and using spray paints. When Johnny gets older, he wants to become a lawyer so he can bring justice to the people and in the juvenile system. He is very interested in tattoos, and hopes to get some one day.
Yael Tsoran, Teaching Artist Assistant
Yael received her BFA in Pre-Art Therapy and Painting from Arcadia University. She is completing her last year at Pratt Institute to receive her Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creative Development. This is Yaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first summer working for Creative Art Works, however she has experience at jobs and internships embracing the arts as a therapeutic means of expression, and utilizing it as a vehicle to contribute to communities in need. Yael is currently enrolled in a project advocating for womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights.
THE STORY BEHIND THE DESIGN After taking some time to get to know each other through icebreakers and various activities, the Out to Paint (OTP) Team and Teaching Artists collaborated on researching and brainstorming ideas for a cohesive mural design. OTP decided to represent the experience of being a resident at Horizon Center by illustrating the story of Sisyphus, a Greek King who cheated death and was sentenced by Hades to an eternity of pushing a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down every time he reached the summit. Some could see this as a metaphor for futility, but the Youth Apprentices see it as a reminder that life is always filled with obstacles, and you can choose to struggle for good or evil. Two of the boulders contain images associated with violence and self-destruction, such as weapons and alcohol while one boulder contains images associated with education and self-improvement. The glowing figure of Lady Justice was a response to a discussion the group held on recent events in the news. The decision to depict Justice as a woman of color makes a statement about racial and gender equality.
About the Public Art Youth Employment Program
The Creative Art Works Public Art Youth Employment Program gives teens and young adults 14-24 years of age full-time summer jobs and part-time jobs after school to create large-scale public art and multimedia projects. Our Youth Apprentices are guided by professional teaching artists and executive staff from the initial concept development through client presentation, to the final brush stroke and public unveiling. Along the way, they gain tangible employment and life skills such as leadership, teamwork, responsibility and the power of taking initiative. They are empowered by the enduring accomplishment in their work of art and its positive impact on the community.
About Creative Art Works
Creative Art Works (CAW) improves the lives of thousands of NYC youth each year through in-school and out-of-school-time classes, community art-making events, and youth employment creating large-scale public art or multimedia projects. Working in public schools, community centers, parks and libraries, CAW provides dynamic arts experiences for youth who otherwise lack access. Our programs build confidence, unlock a love of learning, and teach valuable technical and developmental skills while creating profound connections between our young constituents, their art and their communities.
www.creativeartworks.org This Creative Art Works Public Art Youth Employment Program was made possible, in part, with funding from the Administration for Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Services, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, as well as by Council Member Mark Levine and Melissa Mark-Viverito, and these supporters:
“In order to overcome obstacles, you have to accept responsibility” - Ramel, Horizon Youth Apprentices
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