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2013 Spotlight Gala Awards – Nonprofit

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

The Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts has been selected to receive the 2013 Spotlight Gala Nonprofit Award. Kent Bellows Studio was chosen this year because of their innovative youth program that focuses on youth community engagement, youth center beautification, youth self-esteem development, and arts education. Their programs help vulnerable youth tell their story, a story that might not be heard otherwise.

About the Youth Mural Project

Young Artist: Angela Saenz
Mentor: Mike Giron
Artist’s statement: “The images shows two versions of the same girl, one before her charges and one after. The quote “we are good girls” taken directly from a [DCYC resident], is emphasized because even good girls make mistakes. I want this piece to show hope and reflection.

Young artists from The Kent Bellows Studio & Center for Visual Arts and youth in detention from the Douglas County Youth Center (DCYC) engaged in a collaborative public art project creating a series of murals displayed on DCYC exterior walls. These paintings incorporate ideas and imagery from the youth residents and the young artists.
The teenagers from The Kent Bellows Studio & Center for Visual Arts, primarily from high schools throughout the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan area, worked directly with the youth in the Douglas County Youth Center in the form of interviews, discussions, and art activities. Ideas, subject matter, inspirations, visual elements, and other data were harvested from these strategic interactions in order to uncover the creative voice of the DCYC youth. From these discussions, the student artists and their mentors created a series of 10’ x 10’ paintings that harmonize the uncovered voice of the DCYC youth with the artistic visions of The Kent Bellows Studio young artists. Their results strive to challenge Nebraska to be a better place.

We are fortunate to be able to shine a light on this project by featuring the murals on the notecard favors at this year’s Spotlight Gala.

How does Kent Bellows align with our mission?

The Spotlight Gala Nonprofit Award has a distinct history of recognizing those organizations whose missions improve the lives of Nebraska’s children. Voices for Children is committed to telling the whole story for ALL of Nebraska’s kids – from birth all of the way through their teenage years. Kent Bellows Studio’s work with older youth and their innovative program at the DCYC help these youth tell their personal story in a unique and powerful way.

Thank you to taking the time to share!

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