To promote mental wellness in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Erie Arts & Culture launched two new participatory initiatives in June that promote residents to check in with themselves and explore how they are feeling. The initiatives are in partnership with Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and the Erie County Department of Health.
Erie Arts & Culture is soliciting works of art from Erie County youth in response to one question, “How are you feeling?” Youth can use any artistic discipline, medium, or material to respond. To provide some guidance and inspiration, Erie-based artists Tom Ferraro (painter), Carla Hughes (dancer), and Cee Williams (poet) contributed videos showcasing their artistic disciplines and how they can be used to express emotions or communicate feelings. Erie Arts & Culture is requesting that artwork created in response to the question be submitted to the agency digitally. We welcome all Erie County Students grades K-12 to participate.
Below we present all of the youth submissions so far. Thank you to everyone who participated!
A special thank you to Sarah Reed and The Inner-City Neighborhood Arthouse.
Interested in participating? We are accepting submissions until August 31.
Virtual Youth Art Gallery
Please click the photos to expand for a larger view.
In addition to the pieces of artwork above, Sarah Reed students also colored coloring book pages, using a combination of colors and words to convey their feelings.
Voices of Our Youth: Artist Statements and Reflections
Artist: Breanna P.
"My acrylic painting is my vision of myself and my friends are at this time, are more focused on video games and teen drama, that we don't see the chaos behind us such as: Coronavirus, riots, racism, vandalism, police brutality, and destruction of property. It's almost like we hide behind the video games and movies. And me looking at all these topics now, is really scary to me of how unaware people are."
Artist: Lily P.
"During the quarantine, I have felt trapped inside a cage that is miles away from everyone else. I’ve used art to try to feel free again."
Artist: Lilly P.
"I enjoy all kinds of art and selected a few pieces I created through the use of acrylic paints, drawing tools and photography."