Home / Programs & Initiatives / Initiatives / The Art of Storytelling—RYSE

The Art of Storytelling—RYSE

RYSE: Richmond Youth Raise Their Voices

May 18–September 28, 2017

The third installation in The Art of Storytelling featured the work of youth from the RYSE Center in Richmond, California. RYSE creates safe places for grounded in social justice for young people to love, learn, educate, heal and transform lives and communities. 

Next Prev
                      Church 

Francisco Rojas Meraz, Age 21

Keeping the phrase “No soy de aqui ni de alla” meaning “not from here nor there” in his mind, having to be a Chicano from the Bay Area, juggling culture, tradition, and contemporary social problems. These are common themes that come to mind in his creative thinking process to produce work that is not only meaningful and healing to him but as well yells out a statement or brings some sort of connection to a specific community of people.

Bankruptcy 

Francisco Rojas Meraz, Age 21

Keeping the phrase “No soy de aqui ni de alla” meaning “not from here nor there” in his mind, having to be a Chicano from the Bay Area, juggling culture, tradition, and contemporary social problems. These are common themes that come to mind in his creative thinking process to produce work that is not only meaningful and healing to him but as well yells out a statement or brings some sort of connection to a specific community of people.

Fox

Francisco Rojas Meraz, Age 21

Keeping the phrase “No soy de aqui ni de alla” meaning “not from here nor there” in his mind, having to be a Chicano from the Bay Area, juggling culture, tradition, and contemporary social problems. These are common themes that come to mind in his creative thinking process to produce work that is not only meaningful and healing to him but as well yells out a statement or brings some sort of connection to a specific community of people.

Purpose

Transparency Portrait Series Artist Statements

These portraits were created to show youth voices as layers of affirmations to remind oneself to reflect on personal growth. Each art piece was created for the viewer to interact with, learn and get a glimpse of the multifaceted experiences of young people in Richmond. Each one showcases their own individual styles of poetic thoughts and the different layers of self as people see us and who we are inside. Feel free to lift the transparent portrait photographs to interact with each piece as their own identities and inner art works.

Jakia Kiel, Age 17

Jakia Kiel was introduced to the arts by the artist Aware and the filmmaker Gemikia Henderson at RYSE Youth Center. She has been a multimedia artist involved in video production for four years. Jakia’s artistic style is laid back and chill and she challenges herself to try new mediums. Jakia’s artistic influence is Justin Bieber, because he shows her never to give up and to always try new things in life. Her plans for the future are going to college, pursuing video, becoming a doctor and joining the Air Force. Her video You’re Not Alone (2016) won Honorable Mention at RYSE’s second annual Truth be Told: Justice Through my Eyes Film Festival

Jakia was inspired to create this particular piece of artwork to show her purpose in life. She found out that art creation process is not easy but it’s worth it in the end. This piece of art tells the story that everyone on this planet has a purpose in life.

Free Your Dream

Isaiah Grant, Age 17

Isaiah Grant, 17, strives to overcome racism and defy stereotypes. He was introduced to the arts by coming to the RYSE Youth Center, and has been influences bymentors like Vero and Agana who introduced him to new artistic medium and styles. Isaiah describes his artistic style as constantly learning and improving his work by appreciating the imperfections and process. What makes him unique as an artist is how he combines his spoken word poetry into his art and it impacts people by connecting his community. Isaiah goes with the flow and follows his own creative inspirations. He sees himself as a film producer in film festivals to tell your stories to a larger audience through media production.

What inspired Isaiah to create the Free Your Dream art piece was to tell his story to the audience even when he is not present. He learned how important is is to Free Your Dreams through creating art. Isaiah wants to address social issues in this art piece to break stereotypes about people of color. Isaiah wants people that see his art piece and feel empowered, inspired, and like they are a whole new person.

I Can’t Draw

Sterling Gilder, Age: 18

Sterling describes her life as truly blessed. Despite dark memories and nightmares, she is finding happiness. Her interest in music was inspired by her parents: her mother enjoyed musicals and her father listened to Sade and NWA. Sterling is inspired by rap and R&B, especially the Bay Area’s hyphy movement, but she also dabbles in jazz and alternative. Sterling began performing spoken word towards the end of high school, competing in Youth Speak’s annual Teen Poetry Slam. She plans to release her own music and help artist manage their brands, and collaborate with other artists.

Sterling was inspired to create this piece while participating in the Graffiti Mural Art Workshop at RYSE Youth Center. She wrote some of her favorite songs in small letters on the canvas.

Shania’s World

Shania Williams, Age 17

Having MS has been a challenge that Shania overcame by drawing, writing and dancing, and keeping a positive mindset. Her mother introduced her to the arts by pointing out all the positive aspects about Frida Kahlo, Picasso, and other fine artists. Her artistic style is all about passion. Shania is a unique artist because she brings authenticity and her full self. She will be attending a four-year university and getting her bachelors in Marine Biology and astronomy.

Shania was feeling her poetic voice over her artwork and self-portrait. When you read it sparks an emotion of making you feel good inside.

 Richmond Renaissance

RYSE’s third annual youth-led theatrical production, Richmond Renaissance, took the stage at the El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater on May 6 and 7. The play is set in AnnaBelle’s, a Black-owned juke joint in 1940s North Richmond. The play, written by DeAndre Evans,  explores issues of racism, post-traumatic stress, domestic violence, colorism, and self-love. Richmond Renaissance celebrates overcoming past trauma, and inspires hope, pride, and purpose for the future, particularly for the city’s young residents. The production also engaged youth in mediums besides acting, including: video production, stagecraft and lighting, photography and other visual arts mediums.

Artist Bio

Daioge Martin, Age 17

Daioge Martin shatters the barriers and stereotypes of lower income Black males as more than just incarcerated numbers and death toll statistics. Daioge found his creativity by adding multiple colors to an image or shape, making it an emotional feeling of what he wants to express inside based on his current emotions. Painting was a medium he was introduced to and found that while painting he finds himself at ease. Daioge finds his own meaning and interpretations of simple different shapes such as one circle. His inspiration was his uncle, who despite his disabilities, created artwork for him. He plans to become a barber to fund his way through college to study social work and business.

Daioge learned to turn photographic images into his own unique interpretations and styles. The portraits portray the hidden meaning of the stories within the character connecting our past present and future stories.

Golden Mind & Pride & Purpose

Marisol Lara, Age 17

Marisol Lara is a queer Xicana intersectional feminist, artist, poet and photographer from Richmond, California. She is planning to attend California College of the Arts or community college and then transfer. Marisol likes to experiment and practice with different mediums. She does not like to stick with one specific kind of medium because as an artist, she believes that she is always adapting, growing and changing like a butterfly. Marisol wants to continue to participate in art shows and exhibitions and she hopes to eventually have her own art shows and exhibitions one day in the future. She also wants to travel all over the world while creating murals on her own or with the youth in different places and hopefully teach them. Marisol wants to influence, inspire and impact people of color in a positive same way like Frida Kahlo did for her. She loves herself and her flaws. Marisol is not afraid to express herself and embrace her indigenous roots. She wants her people to know that they’re capable of anything that they desire to be as long as they set their mind to it.

Pride & Purpose

Marisol wanted to show that black women during World War II were hardworking riveters, not just white women. Women of color do not receive enough credit for their participation.

Golden Mind

Marisol created her second stencil image using a portrait of Deandre Evans who wrote the script and starred in two main roles of Richmond Renaissance. She chose the colors gold because he has a golden mind full of inspiration, she painted the poppy flowers to connect the roots that connect us to California.

Next Prev

Exhibit Opening

 

Exhibit Closing