August 26, 2014
art, recognition, transition, education, reciprocating, youth
The a.r.t.e.r.y. exhibition, “lost and found” will showcase its artwork dates from September 4 through October 9, 2014, with a Public Reception on Thursday, September 4, 2014, between the hours of 4:00pm to 8:00pm at the Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery. The exhibition is free to the public and has been made possible by the cooperative efforts of the Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery, California Family Life Center (CFLC) and its affiliates in Hemet, Rubidoux, and Lake Elsinore.
The primary goal of a.r.t.e.r.y. is to provide at-risk youth opportunities for safe and positive self-expression in the visual and language arts. The letter “T” representing transition is one of the key components of the program. This component provides a smooth or less intimidating transition into higher education for CFLC students and is supported through the collaborative outreach between California Family Life Center, Mt. San Jacinto College’s Art Gallery and Art department. Due to this important collaborative outreach, incoming at-risk youth have continued higher academic transitioning through art and their voices for more than eight years. Annual art themes are centralized on the importance of youth voices, issues and CFLC strategic planning outcomes. The exhibition is a culmination of youth artwork and community service from CFLC’s Empower Youth Center Hemet, Planet Youth Elsinore, and the Youth Opportunity Center Rubidoux.
Within the genre of sculpture, the 2013-14 a.r.t.e.r.y. exhibit reflects the “lost and found” stages of CFLC’s at-risk youth and the mentors who helped navigate them through life. The art concept and introspective stories of mentors/mentoring were based upon the story, The Odyssey (Homer), Book II of The Odyssey and the origin of the word “mentor”. An important component of the exhibit is interactive, we invite quests to remove and read the introspective stories written by CFLC youth artists contained within envelope sculptures.
The Story of “Mentor”
“After the war, Odysseus is condemned to wonder vainly for ten years in his attempt to return home. In time, Telemachus, now grown, ventures in search of his father. Athena, Goddess of War and patroness of the arts and industry, assumes the form of Mentor and accompanies Telemachus on his quest. Father and son reunite and cast down would-be usurpers of Odysseus’ throne and Telemachus’s birthright.” (Shea)
Book II of The Odyssey
Athena, transformed as Mentor, advises and prepares Telemachus for his voyage at sea. “You will not lack neither courage nor sense in the future, Telemachus…But, the journey which you desire shall not be long delayed, when you have with you such an old friend of your father as I am; for I will provide a swift ship and go with you myself.” (Athena/Mentor)
The exhibition reflects the three phases of the a.r.t.e.r.y. program: Phase 1: Community Service Component. The beginning phase focuses on community and international service projects. Youth are provided with multiple opportunities to reciprocate and “give back” to others in local and international communities. The collaborative efforts of the youth working as one unified team to meet the needs of many, builds self-esteem and self-worth both on the individual and as a group.
“Little Pants for Africa” Project: Currently CFLC youth finished sewing over 200 pairs of pants for children in Africa. The pants are constructed from donated, re-purposed sheets. The fabric boat sculpture displayed in the exhibit is created from re-purposed bamboo, telecommunication wire and woven jeans.
“P.J.” Project: CFLC youth have finished sewing multiple pajama sets for children entering The Department of Child Protection Services shelters for Riverside County. The P.J. project will continue throughout 2014-15 a.r.t.e.r.y. program.
Phase 2: Individual interpretative artwork. Clay envelope (individual) sculptures were created by CFLC youth containing their stories based upon lost, found and their mentors and/or mentoring experiences. The envelope imagery is a symbolic vehicle, transporting the challenging voyages each student has experienced and the mentors in their daily life.
We encourage guests to read the collective experiences the youth faced while on their own journey. This interaction between youth and guest brings an insight to the individual artist’s challenges.
Phase 3: Collaborative Mentor Project. Phase 3 of the exhibit focuses on youth working together on combined collaborative skills and large scale sculpture techniques. Collaboration is a key element to the a.r.t.e.r.y. program. The collaborative process enables youth to build communication skills within peer groups while in a venue to promote the transference of creative energy, vision and goals through their work. Youth have the freedom to be an individual voice but yet work together with mutual respect within their peer group thus empowering all participants.
This year’s youth were inspired by the imagery of Telemachus’s ‘swift ship’ a transport vessel into life’s journey. Artist’s tackled the construction of large scale sculptural boats using re-purposed bamboo, wire and machine quilted coffee filters organically stained. Much like the voyage in The Odyssey, the constructed hulls of the ships deliver the stories of lost, found, mentors and their journeys.
CFLC, Empower Youth, a Youth Opportunity Center of Riverside County, is a proud member of the Youth Opportunities Consortium. The Consortium is led by the Council for Youth Development, the youth voice for the Riverside County Workforce Development Board. This Workforce Investment Act Title I financially assisted program or activity is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. California Family Life Center is an equal Opportunity Employer.
“lost and found” will run from September 4 through October 9, 2014. The public reception will be held on Thursday, September 4, 2013, between 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 10:00am – 4:00pm. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.