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Camp Scudder 'Wall of Hope' mural unveiled this Friday

Antonovich to host dedication

Posted: January 11, 2010 4:42 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2010 11:58 a.m.
The 45-foot wide "Wall of Hope" mural created by thirty girls, ages 12 to 18, serving sentences at Camp Kenyon J. Scudder probation camp is to be unveiled and dedicated at noon on Friday, Jan. 15 at Camp Kenyon J. Scudder, 28750 Bouquet Cyn Rd., Santa Clarita 91390.

The non-imposed mural project contains inspiring visual imagery and is accompanied with words like ‘encouragement" and "respect."

The 28-week project commenced with a 14-week in classroom instruction with artist-in-residence Michael Massenburg and concluded with hands-on installation by the girls.

The arts education project is a joint effort by Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Arts Program, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Los Angeles County Fifth District and Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who will serve as host.

Camp Scudder is a Los Angeles County juvenile probation camp for girls with mental health needs

Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation whose vision is to promote understanding between people through cultural and artistic forums, and to empower local communities through education in the arts.

Michael Massenburg has exhibited in galleries and museums, completed numerous private commissions, and worked on public art projects across the United States and abroad.

He has completed commissions for Los Angeles County MTA, ESPN and the American Jazz Museum, is Lead Chairperson for the Inglewood Cultural Arts, co-founder of the Los Angeles Collective and sits on the Board of the Arts Commission for the City of Inglewood, California. Michael Massenburg's artwork is represented by M Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

Discovering the Image of Success

The transformative power of art lies in its ability to remember the past, celebrate the present, and envision the future with the stroke of a brush. The Camp Scudder Mural Project has challenged the students to explore their personal creativity within the larger context of art history.

To broaden their perspectives, the students were introduced to a great diversity of art including the pre-historic cave paintings at Lascaux, expressionism, realism, surrealism, calligraphy, and a wide variety of today's public art.

The most accessible examples of art for these at-risk students are murals, fashion, pop culture, logos and icons. The students can relate to these images and are open to learning about the fundamental elements of art and design contained within this body of work. They developed skills and techniques to express their ideas visually and communicate through their art.

Through class discussions they explored the impact art makes on the community. Within the curriculum of the Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First Artist-In-Residence workshop, the students were presented with overviews of the lives and works of artists who took both traditional and non-traditional paths to discover their visual voices and tell their unique stories.

They found remarkable stories painted across the country and learned more about themselves and their communities. Through instruction in the basic skills of drawing and use of materials, they gained the confidence to express themselves visually, first with line drawing, then color and tone. The efforts of every student were validated and then they were guided to build on their strengths and try new techniques to more fully express their ideas.

In studying the content and meaning of various works of art, students identified images portraying strength, weakness, beauty, power, tenacity, victory, loss, pain and joy. They were able to recognize ideas that brought them together and others that held them apart. Students were encouraged to think about the issues that were most important to them.

The universal theme that emerged was overcoming adversity and finding success. At-risk youth rarely have the resources or the support to take that first independent step and experience success.

Each assignment that they worked to completion gave them a sense of accomplishment. They saw that success happens when they meet or exceed their own expectations and share their work with their friends, family and community.

Each student has a personal vision of success, some representational and others more conceptual. The images the students generated cover a wide range of ideas, styles and sensibilities. They carefully considered the placement of the mural. They discussed what images and style would be the best to create a wonderful and uplifting atmosphere for their cafeteria.

They are developing teamwork and patience as they collaborate and combine their individual ideas to create a harmonious whole. Through the workshop they are experiencing personal growth, receiving recognition and embracing the concept of giving back to their community through the gift of art.

While participating in The Camp Scudder Mural Project students are learning to express their personal history and discovering how to imagine a path to success. They have presented us with a landscape for a promising future.

This story is posted in The Signal's SCV Raw section. Click here for more information about SCV Raw.


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