As we start the last week of this program, there’s a lot to reflect on. We have a lot of finished murals to show you and some closing reflections on the program as a whole. But first, we want to take a few minutes to share an important part of the last few weeks – the kids we’ve been interacting with at the Campbell Street R-Center.
As a team coming into Campbell Street, we were keenly aware that this was not our space, but theirs. It was very important to us that we make sure the kids felt and were included in the whole process from beginning to end, and that they have some input regarding what was going on their walls. Before we started the mural, we came in and met with the kids. Maribel and Kasim shared what they’ve been working on at Roc Paint Division so far, and then led several group art activities to get to know the kids, and to get them thinking about the idea of growth and how that might look when translated to a giant painting. Many of the kids were excited to contribute, and lead artist Brittany Williams referenced the drawings these kids came up with as she developed the sketch for the mural.
Once we started painting at Campbell Street, we wanted to keep the kids involved. Each time we worked, a members of our team were assigned the task of running art activities with the Campbell Street kids. The butterfly project was the main one: Butterflies play a prominent theme in the mural design both inside and and outside at the center, so the kids were invited to paint butterflies of their own- which were then hung inside to go along with the mural. Check out the final installation below:
The kids were really excited about the idea about painting on the wall and would have loved to help us out – so we gave the kids the chance to paint on a larger scale, just like our teens. Dezmir, who was often the kids ‘art project lead and who impressed them regularly with his drawing skills, made some growth-themed drawings on panels that the kids then got to go in and paint.
The documentation part of the process was just as exciting to these guys. Program photographer Lisa regularly allowed the kids to experiment with the camera, and the kids loved getting to see the project through the lens themselves.
We’ve loved getting the chance to hang with the kids of Campbell Street over these last few weeks- its been an honor to get to paint in their space, and their enthusiasm for our project and to see the end result has been motivating. “Art is magical,” said Alex, age 9, when asked what he liked about the project. Lots of the kids said how much they liked meeting the teen artists, and shared that they hoped to be able to be part of the program themselves once they are old enough. For Dezmir, working with them was one of his favorite parts of the program so far. As he said, “The thing I like about working with the kids is that they have no perception of what its supposed to be like, just imagination. And they just love doing it.”