Aug 25, 2021

Finding Freedom: Cultivating Confidence and Courage!

by: Ilse García Romero

The Mural Arts Education’s Artrepreneurs program ended sessions with an anthology zine launch party on Friday, August 13. Finding Freedom: Cultivating Confidence and Courage! was the culmination of works by local youth that have been working tirelessly for the past six weeks, led by Teaching Artists Sam Rodriguez and Jenny Yim with the guidance of visiting artist Soleil Summer.

The students reflected and responded to a multitude of prompts like ‘What is freedom and how is it achieved?’ and ‘What makes one courageous?’ in order to create this introspective and vulnerable anthology.

“I’ve been struggling with myself as an artist because I compare myself with other people,” said Kana Badnoch, one of the students in the program. “Especially being by myself [with COVID], I’ve been able to think for myself and figure out what art I wanna do and what that represents for me.”

Other students also reflected on their interests, goals, and self expression through their work:

“Artists like Mr. Sam and Miss Senny inspired me to keep going and never give up. This program is a motivation for my resume. I feel like I wanna keep going.” -Savione Moore

“I am Christina Tonnu, and truthfully my piece doesn’t have a name, it’s just a concert. That’s something I really miss going to because of COVID! I am first and foremost a music lover, a friend, occasional artist. My favorite band is Young the Giant, specifically their ‘Mirror Master’ album.” – Christina Tonnu

“My piece- it doesn’t have a name. It’s heavily based on expression, trying to find who you are, eventually finding who you want to be.” – Samiya Carson

“What inspired me were my close friends, my mom, my pet, to keep doing art. My dad used to draw a lot [he passed away when I was little] and I’ve taken that from him, my art connects me to him.” – Sonja Clark

“I just draw what comes to mind, and write what comes to mind and see from there. I’ve had a lot of confidence in myself with learning a new language, and trying to fit in with the American culture.” – Yamile Shuman Fletcher

“The questions we were asked throughout the program inspired my answers which inspired my art. I like school and learning things. I play ultimate frisbee and I like playing the piano.” – Caroline Bach

“I just enjoy art a lot, I take my time to get my ideas out and do my imagination. I am a joyful and creative person. I’m attending Moore Art School this fall for illustration.” – Kayla McGrowder

“I really enjoy a lot of forms of media, like cartoons and video games. One of my inspirations was Bojack horseman. I am Gianna, I’m not anyone specific, I don’t specify myself as one person cause that could change in two years, you know?” – Gianna Webe

“I’m just a regular high school student that’s going through a pandemic. It’s hard for me to believe the things that I see around me. I like to do karate and that inspired me a lot! I really enjoy Chinese Art.” – Michael Goren

This zine and celebration were possible with the generous support of the Philadelphia Youth Network and J2/Exit Design.

Last updated: Aug 25, 2021

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