Rachel, a youth mentor at Express Yourself, worked for the past three months designing and creating an outdoor art exhibition consisting of 60 painted parasols. The temporary installation will be exhibited outside the Cummings Center in Beverly along 75 feet of fencing facing the Lower Shoe Pond on Thursday, April 28th. This installation spotlights the voices of Express Yourself youth to be seen and heard in the local community.
Rachel has been an Express Yourself participant for seven years and a youth mentor for five of those years. “I am just so honored people took the idea and went with it,” said Rachel, “I had these basic ideas and they blossomed beyond what I could have expected.”
Rachel designed 20 patterns inspired by the geometry of mandalas and designated 40 parasols to be painted freely with watercolors. With the support of staff artists, Rachel led EXYO youth and mentors, interns, staff members, and members of the advisory board in painting the parasols, making it a truly collaborative project.
We invite you to come see the colorful pop up parasol exhibition on the afternoon of Thursday, April 28th at the Cummings Center and to visit our open studio after from 4:30-6:00 pm for refreshments and entertainment. Members of STOMP and musicians working with our youth on our annual performance will also be attending the event.
This project is funded by Amplify Youth Voices, an initiative of Massachusetts Cultural Council, a groundbreaking program that recognizes the vital contributions of young people to the cultural ecosystem of Massachusetts.