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One of PBCIP's first youth art projects was to gather a group of youth and teens to create a visual representation of their feelings about their community. Working with a professional artist, the youth came up with what we call the "Camden Carnation." It is a flower representing their perception of their community as one of "hope, strength and endurance" - a view in striking contrast to adults' commonly used language of "poor, violent and crumbling" when referring to the same city.
Although the participating youth are now young adults, their vision has become ingrained in PBCIP's thought process and the work we accomplish.
The original vision was rendered as a small-scale sculpture by artist Leon Reid. Since then the concept has been incorporated creatively into plans for street art, interpretive signage and a logo that embodies the spirit of PBCIP's RENEW project set to take place on Haddon Avenue.
Artist Leon Reid's original interpretation featured three flowers powerfully emerging from a concrete base and representing, from smallest to largest, hope, strength and endurance.
Stylized versions of the youth's flower have been created for signage in both the RENEW building and PBCIP's Learning Garden under development across the street.
At a charrette to plan public art for Haddon Avenue, the concept was expanded upon and incorporated into a storytelling piece of artwork. Here interior designer Glynis Tart brainstorms incorporating the carnation into the proposed design.
PBCIP's youth arts program has added an entrepreneurial component to provide financial literacy skills and introduce business skills needed to be a successful working artist. In addition to 2011 programs that encouraged youth to develop small businesses based on their interests and talents (banner making, bike repair, nail artistry, to name a few) PBCIP is expanding in 2012 to develop an entrepreneurial program that can help to support the Youth Arts workshops.
Two workshops held in Farnham Park in July 2012 featured local airbrush artist Horace Smith and resulted in a t-shirt design that youth plan to bring to production and sell at PBCIP's Haddon Avenue Street Festival to support the youth arts program. Parkside resident Nazir Wilkins recently took a trip to EmbroidMe in Deptford to research production options.
Click on a photo below to open the picture gallery:
For more community art images, click here.
PBCIP’s public arts initiative kicked off last year with youth at the Boys & Girls Club on Park Boulevard. The spring session built upon the first youth arts program last fall and emphasized the theme of “Visioning a New Haddon Avenue.” The sessions were structured as urban planning charettes with sculptural art workshops as well.
The program combined the two related fields of art and urban planning. Each week the youth participated in an urban planning charette, and came up with their own ideas to turn Haddon Avenue into an eco-friendly, walkable, cultural arts district. Over the course of eight weeks they built a model of Haddon Avenue. Each week the youth created a different type of sculpture, from paper mache buildings, to wind turbines and solar panels from recycled materials, to park benches and fountains made of clay. By the end of the eight weeks they completed the Haddon Avenue model and presented PBCIP with some exciting new ideas to make the retail district a welcoming place to live and shop.