"Picture Hope" and "The Wayward Path" - Paintings for New York County Family Court

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PUBLIC ART YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM SUMMER 2017 “Picture Hope” & “The Wayward Path” by Masks Off Unveiling Celebration Monday, August 7th, 3:00 PM New York Family Court 460 Lafayette Street, Fourth Floor New York, NY Jessie Novik, Teaching Artist Lauren Genutis, Teaching Artist Assistant About the Paintings

Creative Art Works has produced its sixth public artwork for New York Family Court. These youth-created canvases are intended to help visitors from all walks of life feel welcome and safe, and to honor the dedication of all of those who work to uphold the mission of the Court.



For many of us, a summer job was our introduction to the working world. It’s a fundamental rite of passage, and a big step towards adulthood. I believe young people who land a summer job with Creative Art Works’ Public Art Youth Employment program have truly lucked out, not because our jobs are easy, but because they are challenging in unique ways. Many of our Youth Apprentices have no previous art-making experience, so they have to venture outside their comfort zones and try things they didn’t know they could do. Because they are expected to deliver a beautiful finished product in just six weeks, and satisfy multiple stakeholders, our young people must learn to work as a team, to assert their identities, to compromise, to solve problems, and to advocate for their ideas. There is a healthy dose of pressure, as well as an enormous sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing their completed artwork and its impact. While it is possible to take away lessons from any work experience, I would argue that those jobs that involve the creative process offer some unique lessons. Aside from mastering the technical skills of painting or using professional cameras and video editing software, our Youth Apprentices must learn to deal with uncertainty. The idea that there are predetermined “correct” answers is supplanted by a constantly evolving cycle of judgment calls. In this environment, you must not only come to trust yourself, you must also trust your collaborators – to listen to them openly, embrace their different perspectives, and evaluate ideas solely on their own merits. In today’s rapidly changing world, perhaps the most important habit our young people could develop is the capacity and desire to become life-long learners. Today, we are excited to share with you youth-generated work, which we believe embodies that spirit.

Join the Conversation!





Christopher Kendrick Mercedes Steele Marie-Therese Ghunney Teaching Artist Assistant Lauren Genutis 4

Avril Saavedra Rie Saute

Daniel Baez Emmanuel De Jesus Rodriguez

Genesis Robles

Wendy Guallpa

Ashanti Albert Paola Perez

Arielfy Perez

Lisaury de Jesus

Roenny Garcia Ariel Esposito Emily Pena

Teaching Artist Jessie Novik 5

Ashanti Albert Ashanti is from Guyana, but she came to America at the age of 6. She is 19 years old. She loves to play basketball, tennis, volleyball, and wrestle. She also likes to be alone, write music, sing and go on adventures. She will be attending BMCC in the fall to become a paramedics EMT. Her aspiration in life is to be the happiest that she can be, because when she is happy she feels free. Art has become her safe place; whenever she needs to get away from the world she picks up her brush and she is at peace.

Daniel Baez Daniel is twenty-years-old and was born in the United States. He is of Hispanic descent and his family is from the Dominican Republic. Daniel currently attends Hostos Community College and is studying game design. All his life, video games were his favorite thing in the world, so he decided to turn his passion into a profession. Daniel doesn’t consider himself an artist yet. He recently got into art, but hasn’t worked on any pieces himself. In the future, he plans on taking a painting and drawing class.


Remly Alba Remly is 17. She has lived in the Dykman neighborhood of Manhattan her whole life. She is from the Dominican Republic. She is currently attending JFK High School of Law and Finance. Remly likes to play basketball and volleyball; however, she grew up with a fascination for art and colors. Her strength is working independently, and her weakness is working in a group. Her aspiration is to become a model one day.

Ariel Esposito Ariel is from New York City. He goes to City Tech for graphic design. Some of his hobbies include going to the gym, playing video games, editing videos, hanging out with friends, and watching movies. Ariel has a lot of art experience because he has been drawing since he was a child. He has also made other art works such as sculptures and paintings. Some of his strengths are drawing, having close friends, and being very creative. One of his aspirations is to finish college with a 4-year degree.


Marie-Therese Ghunney Marie-Therese lives in south Jamaica, Queens. She is 18 years old. She enjoys reading fiction books, singing along to musicals, writing poems and adventuring in Manhattan with her friends. Before working at Creative Art Works she interned at Four Freedoms park as a part of a Bloomberg Arts and Culture Internship. During that summer, she and her coworkers worked with film equipment to record interviews for a documentary on FDR. She graduated from Talent Unlimited High School, where she was a vocal major. She will be attending UMASS Amherst in the fall and will be majoring in astronomy. Marie hopes to have a career in this field and improve her creative writing skills to become an author. Emily Pena Emily was born in the United States. She is twenty-years-old. She lives in Inwood, Manhattan, but her family originates from the Dominican Republic. She speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Her hobbies include listening to music as well as playing the guitar, singing, writing and skating. This is her second year working with Creative Art Works and she hopes to gain more painting and learning experience.


Wendy Guallpa Wendy is 16-years-old. She is Ecuadorian and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Wendy will graduate in 2018 from the High School of Art and Design. She is majoring in illustration and her favorite subject is science. Her art experience started when she was in the 7th grade. She loves her birds and her rabbit. Once she goes to college, she hopes to pursue a career in nursing and still continue her own artwork at home.

Jessica Santillan Jessica was born and raised in Queens, New York. She is a student at City College Of New York, and is pursuing art history and minoring in management. During her free time, she likes to take pictures, cook, and create art. Her current interest is ceramic design, mainly focusing on hand building with clay. She has been with Creative Art Works for two years and appreciates the goals of this program. She will always keep coming back every summer. After she finishes school, she hopes to join the Peace Corps, spending her time helping under-developed countries by building houses. She aspires to be an architect and create a nonprofit to help as many as she can, just like the organization Habitat for Humanity.


Paola Perez Paola was born in Puerto Rico but has been living in New York City since she was 4. She graduated from the High School of Fashion Industries in 2016 where she learned to design and construct many different types of clothes. She is now majoring in the theatre with a concentration in technical design at Brooklyn College. Paola enjoys sewing and designing clothing in her spare time. She does not have any experience in mural making, but she has designed large sets for a play in her high school, and the experience she gained from that will be helpful for mural making.

Avril Saavedra Avril was born in Uruguay but was raised in New York, where she studied at La Guardia High School as an instrumental music major. She loves everything from metal to classical. Avril plays the trumpet, guitar, and bass. Surrounded by art majors for so many years, she grew interested in painting, though her primary medium for art has typically been pyrography. As a seconddegree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a student of Chinese Lion dance, she is heavily invested in martial arts. In the fall, she is attending Harvard University, where she plans on studying foreign languages and writing. Avril hopes to one day be a nomadic author. 10

Genesis Robles Genesis is a 17-year-old girl from Harlem, New York. Her background is half Puerto Rican, half Ecuadorian and part African. She goes to New York City Museum School downtown, and she enjoys drawing, reading, listening to music and watching anime in her free time. Aside from drawing in her free time, she doesn't have much art experience. Although she is not quite sure what she wants to do in the future, Genesis thinks that possibly studying something that has to do with art, English, or technology could be fun. She also wants to consider studying abroad.

Emmanuel De Jesus Rodriguez Emmanuel is from Brooklyn. He was born in Manhattan and is of Dominican heritage. He is currently attending Fiorello A. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and Performing Arts. He majors in art, and is going to be a junior in the fall. He loves to run and play volleyball. He loves to create his own sketches and designs. Emanuel also has an interest in interior design, architecture, and anatomical drawing. He has experience in line drawing, tempo painting, still life drawing, pen and ink drawing and pattern drawing. His strengths are literature writing, writing reports, public speaking, group work, leadership and writing essays. He aspires to one day become a wellknown and wealthy interior designer and a graphic designer.


Rie Saute Rie Saute is a 16-year-old rising junior at Hunter College High School. She loves everything about swimming and gymnastics. She also loves watching Netflix, especially crime shows and shows that make her cry, like Grey’s Anatomy. She is half Japanese and very passionate about issues facing the Asian American community. Her favorite place in NYC is Chinatown, because of its amazing food and people. She has taken art classes in school, and working with CAW has allowed her to experience more of an activity she loves. Her strengths are her passion and commitment; however, her weakness is that she can be stubborn. She wants to go to college out of state and study abroad. She wishes to work for either the local government or for a nonprofit.

Lisaury de Jesus Lisaury was born in the United States, but she has two Dominican parents. She is a history major and studies at SUNY New Paltz. Her hobbies include: playing video games, art, and watching animal TV shows. She has been drawing since she was ten years old and is now turning twenty in August. She mainly draws cartoon styles, but would occasionally paint when the inspiration strikes. She mainly uses a drawing tablet to draw but if another medium is required, she is willing to give it a try. Although she is very shy, Lisaury works well in a team.


Mercedes Steele Mercedes is from Howard Beach, Queens. She is the first female in her family to graduate from high school, and will be attending Utica College in the fall. Her hobbies include: reading fantasy, true crime and psychology books; watching Netflix; going on adventures with her friends to different food/dessert spots in the city; and drawing. She has worked with CAW on two previous projects, including the Dr. Lottie Taylor Library mural at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School. She has loved art ever since she could pick up a pencil. She wants to get her doctorate in psychology, and aspires to be a behavioral or forensic psychologist for the FBI, which has been her dream since she was seven years old.

Roenny Garcia Roenny was born in 2001. She is Dominican and Italian. She is currently attending Marble Hill High School for International Studies. In her free time, she likes to play basketball and dance. She also likes to try new things from different cultures such as foods and dances. The only art experience she has had was during sophomore year, when she was in an art class for DreamYard. One of her strengths is that she is able to lift herself up when in a touchy situation, and having confidence. Also, she is productive when it comes to working hard on what she wants to achieve. However, one of her weaknesses is taking math classes which is her least favorite subject. 13

Christopher Kendrick Christopher is from the Bronx. He is black/Puerto Rican and is currently attending BMCC. Christopher enjoys learning, reading, playing video games, spending time with his family and friends, traveling to different places, and listening to music. He doesn't have much experience in terms of art, but he is always willing to work to improve. Some of his strengths include compassion, problem solving, being a “good vibe� and uplifting other people. His weakness are math, getting up in the morning, and being organized. Christopher aspires to be the best he can be and to make his goals a reality.

Teaching Artist Jessie Novik 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 self defense 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.


Arielfy Perez Arielfy was born in Washington Heights but is very proud of her Dominican background. She took art classes all throughout middle school, which inspired her to join Creative Art Works. Her hobbies include dancing, listening to music and hanging out with friends. Arielfy recently graduated from Aquinas High School and will be attending SUNY New Paltz in the fall. One of weaknesses is her artistic skill, but her strong sense of determination keeps her going and gets the job done.

Teaching Artist Assistant Lauren Genutis Lauren Genutis has been working with youth since 2006. She has taught with Creative Art Works since 2015. While this is Lauren's first time contributing to CAW's summer mural program, she is very familiar with large scale art production. Lauren specializes in sculptural fabrication and has helped produce costume relief sculptures and props for music videos such as Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." She was also part of the model making & building team responsible for fabricating Manhattan island at the new Times Square attraction, Gulliver's Gate. Lauren's most recent project consisted of sculpting four life to large-scale ghostly figures for Daniel Arsham's latest show in Moscow.





About the Public Art Youth Employment Program

Public Art Youth Employment Programs give teens and young adults full-time summer jobs and part-time jobs after school to create large-scale public art and multimedia projects. Youth Apprentices are guided by professional teaching artists from the initial concept development through client presentation, to the final edit and public unveiling or premier. 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) is a 31-year-old nonprofit that empowers young people through the visual and multimedia arts. Our programs equip children, teens, and young adults with essential tools and skills; connect them with community, academic success, and career opportunities; and inspire them to reach for new possibilities. Working in underserved neighborhoods of New York City, in public schools, community centers, parks, and libraries, CAW provides dynamic art-making 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. Students are never charged for participation in our programs. www.creativeartworks.org Creative Art Works is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #13-3638436 Copyright © 2017 Creative Art Works. All rights reserved.

Creative Art Works hires Youth Apprentices directly and as a worksite manager with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Summer Youth Employment Program. Programs are implemented in partnership with Catholic Charities of New York Alianza Division, Children’s Aid Society, Inwood Community Services, and Police Athletic League. CAW’s 2017 Public Art Youth Employment Program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. Direct support is provided by Brookfield, Crowell & Moring Foundation, RBC Foundation USA, Sherwin Williams, State Street, Structure Tone, and by individual donors.


“Home is what you carry In your scars and in your tissue, In the kiss that meets your brow, In the heart that keeps you warm In the memories that never change.” Excerpt from the poem, “Walls” by Creative Art Works Youth Apprentice Avril Saavedra

520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 201A New York, NY 10018 646.424.0392 www.creativeartworks.org Creative Art Works is a 501(c)(3), EIN #13-3638436 Copyright © 2017 Creative Art Works. All rights reserved. 20

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