Youth at the Raven Youth Activity Centre is tackling the social issues of the day with a new virtual art show.
The show will go live on the Raven Youth Activity Centre’s Facebook page, on Monday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m. and run until Friday, March 12. Youth Support Worker Emma Cockram said the limited show is to showcase the youth’s artwork.
This is the third year in a row youth artists have taken part in the show. The number of participants is lower than usual, Cockram said, but they still have around 20 pieces that will be part of the virtual showcase. Participants include youth they work with in the community and the Grade 9-10 art class at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School.
“The theme is usually centred around racism, hate, community and inclusion, things that we think students are directly involved in but don’t get a chance to talk about,” said Cockram, who has been working at the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre for the last year-and-a-half. “We want to engage with youth through art and see what they have to say about those topics. It’s usually really surprising and great content they come up with.”
The show is funded by the Organizing Against Racism and Hate program, Cockram said. Last year she said LGBTQ+ issues were prominent in the art they received and this year she said the focus seems to be focused around COVID-based discrimination against Asian people. Cockram said one piece that especially spoke to her addressed the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“I’m glad the youth are aware of that and talking about it. I’m always impressed with the art we get through this project and I’m really proud of all the youth in our community.”
Cockram said it can be hard getting youth to discuss issues one-on-one or in a group setting. However, when they work on art together with the peers, their true thoughts and insights shine through.
The show is similar to the virtual home tours realtors use, Cockram said. Using their phones or desktops, participants will be able to ‘walk’ through a door into a gallery where the art will be displayed along with the artists’ bios. Cockram found the software online and thought it was a fun and cool way to do the show.