The wheatpaste wall at YouthCO!

Making a painting in a studio can be a bit stifling at times, but when you add the street installation element to it, it begins to be this exciting and urgent way of communicating. – Cake

Successful art programs recognize that art is a vehicle that can be used to engage youth in activities that will increase their self-esteem.  These programs also recognize and involve the community in which they live.  Ultimately, successful programs culminate in a public performance or exhibition in an effort to build participants’ self-esteem through public recognition.

I have been been involved in facilitating art programs to vulnerable youth in Vancouver for many years.  On January 20 and 27, 2014, I took three years worth of youth drawings- along with a group of six youth from Intersections Media and their youth coordinator (Alison Donnelly), filmmaker Patti Henderson- and installed an art wall at YouthCO.  YouthCO is a community-driven organization run by and for youth that seeks to engage, educate and empower young people living with or at-risk of HIV and Hep C.  The gathering centre at YouthCo needed some sprucing up; the installation of wheatpasted original art work made the room vibrant and alive.  The wall has the magic of street art while in an indoor setting.  The youth created amazing short films from the footage they collected and footage by Patti.

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Special thanks to Intersections Media Intake 7 participants, Alison Donnelly, Patti Henderson, Shane MacInnes, Anna Thorsen, and ALL THE YOUTH WHO CREATED THE ART OVER THE YEARS for your great work on the YouthCO wall!

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