"Art speaks where words are unable to explain."
The Medina County Juvenile Center hosted its second annual Art Experience September 27, using the very positive theme, "Shoot for the Moon - Even If You Miss You Will Land Among the Stars."
More than 100 pieces of artwork created by detained youth were on display in the gymnasium of the Center (655 Independence Drive, Medina).
The range of subjects included paint, ceramic, ink, and acrylic art forms, and projected a meaningfully broad range of emotions and expressions. An array of masks, for example, showed how the artists perceived themselves: sad, betrayed, imperfect.
One artist, Gabbie, said the subjects of her work represent ways to shield and protect herself, to cover the feelings of pain. The outward expressions through art help to relax her.
Another very positive display included quotes of someday-dreams these young people aspire to achieve: "I will become a doctor," "I will become a cop and protect my family and community," "I will stay out of J.D.C.," "I will save a life."
"Better things are coming."
Superintendent Ron Stollar was inspired to initiate this program because of his own love of art; he believes many of these young people also are now seeing that value in their own lives. He was especially touched by a painting done for him personally by a detainee whose evolving floral work demonstrated that change was possible for her, too.
Art-based programs have been effective in "promoting positive youth development, addressing social skills, interpersonal communication and problem solving, as well as increasing creativity, critical thinking, and emotional management."
The unique event featured select pieces that were available in a silent auction. Funds raised will go towards ongoing art therapy for the Center's youth. The JDC's art therapy program is facilitated by volunteer Sharon Borror and the Center's mental health clinicians.
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." Maya Angelou.
The JDC partnered this year with the Children's Center in an effort to help both the county's troubled youth as well as those children who are abused and neglected.
About a dozen selections from this exhibit, along with several other select pieces of art work, will be live auctioned at the Children's Center's Annual Art With a Heart for Children Auction and Benefit November 9, at Blue Heron Event Center (3227 Blue Heron Trace, Medina).
Proceeds from the Children's Center's November event will be divided between the two organizations; the 50 percent donation to the JDC will provide continuing funding for art therapy.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." Albert Einstein.
Superintendent Ron Stollar expressed gratitude for the contributions from 481 Graphic Design, Velvet's West Main Framing, Huntington Bank, Cool Beans Cafe, and several community individuals who volunteered their time over the past year.
"There is beauty in most things to those who have the eyes to see it."