Urban Youth Find a Voice in Art

April 09, 2012

Ubuntu ArtsWheelock College is hosting the 6th annual Ubuntu Arts gallery exhibit showcasing collaborative art pieces created by Boston youth. The Ubuntu Arts program is a unique initiative that organizes Boston teens and facilitates group art projects around the theme Imagining alternatives to violence. Art will be displayed in Wheelock's Towne Art Gallery (180 The Riverway, Boston, MA) from April 9-19, 2012.

An opening reception on Tuesday, April 10, from 5-8 p.m. will feature live performances and discussions with the youth artists.

Artwork featured in the "Being Ubuntu: The Youth Speak" exhibit reflects the concept of Ubuntu: a South African philosophy valuing role models and cooperation that means, "I am because you are." Wheelock College's Ubuntu Arts program matches Boston youth with an adult mentor to collaboratively choose a medium and design a plan for their art-work, and together they engage in the detailed process of art-making. The finished products symbolize their ideas and the messages that they would like to share with the world.

Housed in the Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy Program at Wheelock College, Ubuntu Arts seeks to create learning and growth opportunities for Wheelock students, local youth, adult mentors, youth serving organizations and a wide community of viewers and participants. Ann Tobey, Associate Professor at Wheelock College and Ubuntu Arts organizer explained, "We strive to empower youth to become full participants and valued decision makers throughout the project. In this process of learning by doing, participants build relationships, competencies and skills for themselves and their communities," she said.

The 2012 Ubuntu Arts exhibition will feature work from youth groups who come from the following organizations: Artistic Noise/Spectrum Detention Unit, BNY Mellon Academy for Girls, Bird Street Community Center, Boston Collegiate Charter School, East Coast School of Combined Martial Arts, Edwards Middle School/Medicine Wheel, Hyde Square Task Force, Maritime Apprentice Program, Mattahunt Community Center, Nathan Hale Elementary School, Phoenix Charter Academy, Roca Inc., and Westwood High School.

For more information about the program and exhibit please visit wheelock.edu/ubuntuarts or contact Ann Tobey atobey@wheelock.edu, 617-879-2228. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

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