Message in a Bottle, 2013


Banner Art: "Message in a Bottle," (detail view), Mixed-media, 2013

"Message in a Bottle," (installation view), Mixed-media, 2013
"Message in a Bottle," (installation view), Mixed-media, 2013

Host Program:
8th Grade Art Class, Boston Collegiate Charter Academy, Dorchester

Media: Mixed-media

Project Type: Collaborative

Site Mentor/Artistic Support: Michael Eder, Art Teacher

BU Wheelock Liaison: Alicia Raphalian

Youth Artists:
Rodney Adams, Abigail Alexis, Rose Baker, Sean Baker, Edward Brown, Sean Collins, Owen Cuddahy, Kerri Doherty, Shannon Eaton, Ty’Aaron Ennis, Olivia Fenton, Brian Hall, Zakiyah Huertas, Patrick Mahoney, Ibrahim Mansaray, Lisa Marks-Alford, Jessica Maxwell, Paige McEachern, Emmanuel Nova, Arianna Ramos, Bryanna Resende, Marie Saint-Jean, Scott Trabucco, Jonathan Cooper

Age Range:  12-13

Artist Statement

Together our 8th grade art class identified substance abuse as a very important issue that affects our community. When considering Ubuntu we thought about how an individual’s actions impact other people. We believe that people need to work together in a way that enables others to better themselves, and by doing this we essentially better ourselves.
The central image is of a mother who uses substances. She is holding a newborn baby, which emphasizes the idea that one individual’s actions can impact another person directly in a negative way. We feel that adults set the tone for the community and that they need to intervene in the substance abuse that is happening with people of all ages in the community.

As part of the project we wrote letters with messages to each other, local officials, and our loved ones to express our thoughts and feelings about substance abuse. Rather then have our words trapped as messages in bottles; we surrounded our piece with our messages so that our hopeful voices can be heard.

In one of our class periods we did a community clean up, where we picked up trash in the neighborhoods circling our school. We used some of this trash in our artwork to spread awareness of the use of substances in our community. The trash can be seen spilling into a box where we placed crushed alcohol bottles to form the word HOPE. We believe that we can find hope, even in the most troubling of circumstances.

Can you imagine what it would be like if people stopped taking advantage of all the bad things in our community and took more advantage of all the good things?

Image Gallery