Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 "It's My Life" Art Opening A Beautiful Success!!

This past Saturday our downtown office hosted the opening for the Student Career Alternative Program's 2011 youth arts show. All of the pieces on display in the gallery were submitted by 13-19 year olds for SCAP's 2nd Annual "It's My Life" Youth Arts Contest. The evening featured visual art on display, performances from students who submitted in music, video, and writing, and of course the awards ceremony for the contest. We also enjoyed performances from Dejah Ault and last year's music winner, Iqbal Chowdhury.

Our goal was to create space to showcase some of Atlanta's talented youth, possibly provide some new windows of opportunity, and to get folks really thinking about the themes that inspired each piece.

High school teachers and counselors all over the Atlanta Metro were invited to participate by passing along the contest information to their students. We ended up with submissions from 16 different Atlanta area high schools this year! We also had a great diversity in entries, including writing, visual art, music, and video. Every student who entered received a certificate and a year membership card to Wonderroot Community Arts Center, with access to classes, a studio, a darkroom, an event space, and more.

The contest challenged students to create pieces inspired by one of four themes:

What does militarization take away from your education?

What is your vision of a peaceful and sustainable world?

How can you act for local and global justice?

What are your non-military career paths and dreams?

We had some pretty amazing entries this year! Over the course of the next week or so, look out for photos from the contest on this blog. We'll be working on posting every submission on the blog and website.

Turnout at the event was really great, and I must admit that most of us that do this work on the regular were feeling the warm fuzzies all night after seeing all the kids present their work, the proud look in parents' eyes, and all the smiles from folks that came out to support! The art opening was a reminder to me that there is proof that folks as young as 13 are not only more than capable of developing a deep analysis of the big issues that affect their daily lives, but they're also fully capable of presenting their solutions to the world's problems.

The "It's My Life" youth art exhibit will be up until April 15th. Come by the second floor of 60 Walton Street downtown to check it out. Much of the art is also for sale, with the proceeds going directly to the student-artists. In addition, anyone who would like to is invited to come out to the closing reception Friday April 15th from 6-8pm. Please contact Erica at with any questions.

Finally, congratulations to the winners!

Grand Prize Winner ($100cash!): Joan Bedinger, writing
Education Award (Best Response to Theme 1): Aisha Davis, video
Visionary Award (Best Response to Theme 2): Nicolaas Rashad Turner, mixed media
Justice Award (Best Response to Theme 3): Darrin A. Pope, mixed media
Career Award (Best Response to Theme 4): China Burlison, writing
Artistic Technique Award: Saul Palos, mixed media
Originality Award: Amanda Dolan, photography
Changing Hearts and Minds Award: Gloria Johnson, writing
Creative Solutions Award: Midrell Fitzgerald, graphic design
Judges' Choice Award: Clifford Hopgood, music

THANK YOU to the team of graduate students who took photos and footage of the event. They are working on a short but exciting documentary about SCAP's work, which will be featured at a film screening in the next few months. (More info to come!)
THANK YOU to our esteemed panel of judges: Alice Lovelace from AFSC, Dejah Ault representing SCAP, Valerie Love from Sam Flax, and Kuukua Wilson representing Wonderroot Community Arts Center.
THANK YOU to Willy's Mexicana Grill and Grandmothers for Peace for providing food and drinks for the event.
And THANK YOU to all of our sponsors that donated prizes for the event. Because of you, we were able to award 10 artists with individual unique prizes!

Sam Flax
Wonderroot Community Art Center
All Fired Up
A Cappella Books
Criminal Records
Blick art materials

Tim Franzen
American Friends Service Committee

1 comment:

  1. Had a great time both attending and shooting the event! We'll let you know as soon as we have a definite screening time for the SCAP documentary.