Feel Safe, 2011


Banner Art: "Feel Safe," (detail view), Collage with magazine fragments, 2011

"Feel Safe," (exhibition view with participants), Collage with magazine fragments, 2011
"Feel Safe," (exhibition view with participants), Collage with magazine fragments, 2011

Host Program: Medicine Wheel Productions

Media: Collage of magazine pieces

Project Type: Collaborative, interactive

Program Mentor: Michael Dowling

BU Wheelock Liaison: Grace Werrett

Mentor Artists:
Richard Dinsmore, Mary Begin, Kathleen, Kirk, Rob Cutler

Teen Artists:
Devon, Wellington, Sheakia, Natasha, Alex Z., Alex A, Derrick S., Eugene, Danny, and Jake

Age Range:  15-20

Artists' Statement

Feel Safe was inspired by a conversation among the youth at Medicine Wheel. After one of the youth expressed a sincere discomfort about having to travel to certain parts of the community where he did not feel safe, the group of students engaged in a dialogue about this experience and began to express their reality of “not feeling safe throughout the city.”

The youth at Medicine Wheel sought to depict the reality of isolation and discomfort they face in our communities by creating interactive maps of 28 different neighborhoods in Boston. They had many conversations about how to make a statement about feeling unsafe in and around Boston, and they offered solutions to the problem via dialogue, conversation, peer leadership, mentorship, and community building.

The first installation began with the neighborhood of South Boston. The youth were able to bring to light their experiences of growing up in the city, and they used the map to highlight locations where each person feels safe or does not feel safe. The second installation is the 3-dimensional interactive map of the Fenway area of Boston that is displayed here.

The mission of Medicine Wheel Productions, located in South Boston, is to enable individuals to access the hidden world through art. The organization invites people to gain awareness of themselves in their communities by participating in the creation of enduring, site specific public art projects in which they explore and share issues unique to their individual and collective experiences. Forging a common path, beyond diversity to inclusion, building community from the inside out, using art as the threshold.

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