Sanctuary: Home, Identity and Collective Visions of Community, Artwork by Refugee Youth in the Refugee Youth Project
Spring 2016: Over the course of my year long residency as the Community Arts Facilitator with the Refugee Youth Project, I worked with two groups of refugee youth in the Baltimore area to develop Sanctuary.
Sanctuaries are places of refuge, safety, or retreat. They are spaces of peace and freedom. Sanctuaries can take many different forms, but are universally essential as places where people dream, create and grow.
For many, home is not a fixed place. We often find sanctuary spaces around us or in our imaginations, developing a sense of home wherever it needs to be. Once the second largest port of immigration into the U.S., Baltimore has a rich cultural landscape due the diverse people that built their sanctuaries here. Currently, hundreds of refugees resettle in Baltimore each year, enriching the cultural landscape as they face the challenge of creating home in a new place
Through individual exploration and collaboration, youth and I created a vision of a world in which everyone is provided with an opportunity to cultivate their passions and support each other in the process. These sculptures, paintings, and portraits represent our identities and the spaces that nurture them. We celebrate the sanctuaries in our lives that allow us to be extraordinary parts of the communities that we create.
Check out the Baltimore Sun's article on our exhibition here: www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts?