Images provided by Eric Hubbard of Jovenes Inc., taken by Art Center students.
“The road I walk every day,
it’s no game, I’m trying to make my way.
People see what they want to see. That’s not me.
Take a look, take a look…Take a look, I might surprise you.”
The catchy beat and chorus spilled out of headphones hanging down from the ceiling at the Art Center Wind Tunnel Gallery, like an anthem to the sprawling city landscape. Bodies swaying, heads-bobbing as audience and artists alike moved through the small and carefully curated space.
Now on its second year, the collaboration between Jovenes Inc and Art Center School of Design produced a captivating collection of “ARTifacts.” The collection includes an original song, interactive installations, videos, photographs, print work, and live performances that pieced together the stories of a group of Angelenos from very different walks of life.
The collaboration is a negotiated collaboration between young men faced with the every day challenges of homelessness and graduate students students in one of the country’s most renowned design schools. The unusual experiment sprung out of a professor /student mentorship. Eric Hubbard, Development Director at Jovenes Inc. was a student of Professor Elizabeth Chin during his time at Occidental College. Chin, a trained anthropologist, is now a professor at Art Center in their Media Design Practices track, which focuses on “designing media systems to facilitate the agency of citizens…social justice, and generating knowledge…”
The Monday evening art opening gathered urban young men in baggy clothes, rubbing their hands, and smiling nervously in a space visibly unfamiliar. In contrast the art students paced back and forth guiding their collaborators and audience members through a maze of interactive visual, sensory, and audio pieces.
“This project means a lot to me,” said Lorenzo, or Mr. LA, one of the youth collaborators from Jovenes. “I hadn’t done this before, but now I feel like a superstar…” Read more…