By Mary McPhail Gray
NVW Board Chair
“Art is a language that allows youth to clearly express themselves in ways that are different than writing or speaking,” so states Michael “Smokey” Martinez, Nonviolence Works board member and chair of the Art of Nonviolence Exhibit, which opens Monday, February 5. in the Encore Gallery at the TCA.
The exhibit features works by 30 young artists from Questa Junior/Senior High School, Taos Middle School, and Taos Charter School. They all responded to the challenge from their teachers to express how violence has impacted them. The exhibit is beautiful and tough. These stories are clearly moving, with certain themes that emerge—the juxtaposition of love and violence, the power of bullying, bruises on the heart, feelings of being victimized, pretending to be okay, suicidal thoughts.From the 2018 ART OF NONVIOLENCE EXHIBIT
Martinez comments that the courage of these artists to express their feelings is a strong message of support for other youth who may not feel they can speak up about what has happened to them. These shyer students can be empowered by their classmates. And the teachers—Katie Woodall at Taos Charter School, Christine Autumn at the Taos Middle School, and Jennifer Vialpando from Questa Junior/Senior High school—talked to their students about how to dig down deep in their own lives. What has happened to them? What have they experienced? What have they observed? What have their friends shared with them? The teachers created safe, accepting environments for the students to speak their truth through art. And it will all be at the TCA for us to share. [Read more…] about Youth Speak to Us about Violence!