WOTY 3.2: Scales
Curated by Simon Benjamin
Participating Artists: Nate Bernard, Terrell Daniel, Brandon Edwards, Brian Felipe, Keonna Foreman, Kara Mills, Wayn O. Reid, Christopher Rivera, Audreamia Wardlow, Christopher Zapata.
Scales brings together the work of young people involved in youth-oriented programs focused on creating and sustaining a more just and inclusive society. The exhibition features the work of three artists from a talent development agency for young people of color called SOW (Scope of Work) and six artists from Recess Assembly - a program that offers an inroad to art as an alternative for incarcerating young people inside the justice system.
Through their artistic practice, these young artists highlight under-recognized subjects that impact their communities both directly and indirectly. Through intimate photographs, Wayn O. Reid, a first generation Jamaican-American works through questions of home, belonging and the erasure of histories through forced and voluntary migration. Audreamia Wardlow’s sugar sculptures consider the complexity and impact of mass produced consumer goods in urban communities. Christopher Zapata’s short films are an inquiry into his identity as an Afro-Latinx person. A collective of artists working together at Recess Assembly designed and screen printed a series of posters responding to the curatorial prompt – What does Justice look like to you?
It is today’s youth that hold the position of being the influencers of culture and change that ripple outward into wider communities. The definition of Justice is not a static one, and these artists are voices among the many of their generation working on tipping the scales of Justice towards a more equitable society.
More on the youth focused programs:
SOW is a talent development agency for young POC creatives between the ages of 17-24, established in response to the inequity in representation in creative industries in New York City. SOW honors young people by fostering opportunities through to become creators of culture, not just consumers of it. SOW confronts the cycles of exploitation, erasure of narratives, and marginalization of youth within the creative industry. @sow.nyc
Recess Assembly offers young people caught up in the justice system an inroad to art and connections to working artists and serves as an alternative to incarceration while empowering participants to take charge of their own life story and imagine a positive future. Participants that complete the program may have their cases sealed avoiding an adult record– which can be transformative to their lives. Participants may stay involved at Recess through paid opportunities at Peer Leaders and/or through an Artist Apprenticeship track. @recessart
Simon Benjamin is a Jamaican multidisciplinary artist invested in a research based art practice. He is based in New York City where he is currently pursuing an MFA at Hunter College. @brooklynbeachouse