artistic noise: art from the juvenile detention system and beyond Figures of Authority

Art, Entrepreneurship and Curatorial Program-Harlem, New York

Youth explored the theme "Interactions with figures of authority." We spent some time talking about the different paths a young person might take that would eventually lead them to Artistic Noise. During these talks a number of individual and collective experiences came to surface. We also spoke weeks later about our feelings around the Eric Garner and Mike Brown non-indictments. Though youth were upset and frustrated, they were not surprised with the decision. We touched a bit on police brutality, but talked more about how police/ policing is just one part of the problem. Other figures of authority were discussed as well: security guards, correctional officers, judges, lawyers, case workers, and others including the president. These people control the various institutions that youth have visited and spent time in and they each have unique interactions that they shared. We explored these interactions by first researching and visiting exhibitions and spaces. We then created art that was reflective of their feelings, emotions, conclusions, and thoughts on the theme. Using the RESPOND exhibition at Smack Mellon as inspiration, youth were encouraged to step out of their creative comfort zones by working with new media.

Teaching Artist: Sophia Dawson
Youth Artists in order: Ebony, Angel, Ebony, Brianna

Authority Project Artist Statement:
You Have To Start Working On That...
So many people abuse their power and call themselves a figure of authority. Real people in REAL positions of power help lift you up. They get you where they are mentally and physically. There is enough room at the top for everyone.
by Ebony