Banner Art: Photo of youth Artists in the Massachusetts State House gallery with "SPAGGOT," 2010
YouthAim! at Family Services of Greater Boston, Jamaica Plain
Media: Soft pastel on wood and paper
Project Type: Collaborative
Program Artist Mentor: Kendra Lara
BU Wheelock Student Liaison: Joel Diaz
Ivol, Kareem, Anthony, J-J, Kurtaishia, Renee, Ajah, Kiara
Age Range: 14-17
This piece focuses on the issue of homophobia and depicts a variety of interpretations of what homophobia means to the community, how it affects us, and the importance of treating everyone with dignity and equality. The silhouette of a person does not represent any one individual, instead, it is meant to represent the community. From young to old, from gay to straight and every one in between, the many different people that comprise our community are unified by a collective humanity. Although each piece of the puzzle is different, both of the shoes are the same because they represent the one path that we all walk on together to freedom.
Teen artist, Ivol Brown, was fatally stabbed near his home just weeks after this piece was completed. Ivol was a remarkable young man, intelligent, creative, and a keen critic, he also revealed himself to be a talented artist as he worked with the pastels. Ivol’s death was a tragic loss that reminds us of the ongoing importance of our work to make our communities safer.
1) Ivol’s first experiment with soft pastels; 2) Youth and staff from YouthAim! visit SPAGGOT during the Violence Transformed exhibit at the Massachusetts Statehouse