Last month’s Green Festival downtown brought together many people and organizations who care about the environment. But one typically underrepresented segment of the population got to participate as well: homeless youth. They joined with other young people from Wing Luke Museum’s “Youth Can” program to create art on old doors and discarded lumber.
Now their artwork will be displayed at Art on the Ridge, 8005 Greenwood Ave. N. The artwork will be exhibited through the end of June, and some of the youth who worked on the project will attend the June 10 Artwalk party at Art on the Ridge.
From Art on the Ridge Owner and artist Nicole Stremlow-Monahan:
This unique opportunity was extended primarily to homeless youth and youth who are underrepresented in the green movement, with the goal of creating art, learning about sustainability and the environment, developing mentorship and creating career pathways.
Art on the Ridge will be hosting this piece of art at their gallery through the month of June. Throughout the summer, we will be sending artists and environmentalist volunteers to various youth organizations to talk about environmental justice and work with the youth to create artwork. The hope is then to place the art throughout the city and create awareness about the social justice barriers to achieving carbon neutrality, as well as the immense value of spreading messages through art for all kinds of communities in the city. Some of the groups we plan to visit include “Peace for the Streets by Kids on the Streets” (PSKS) through their “Step Beyond” program, Coyote Central, Neighborhood House’s Youth program, among others.
The program will also pair mentors with the youth through a number of sources, to help guide their interests, market their art, and recommend career pathways in the arts.
The hope is to provide opportunities for youth to increase their environmental awareness, contribute to our community in a positive way, and learn how to showcase and sell their art. With this goal in mind, we are currently working to set up partnerships with local organizations—homeless youth organizations, arts organizations, and substance abuse organizations—to recruit youth, access space and materials for art projects, and identify potential mentors for the youth.