Soul of My Roots (El Alma de Mis Raices)
This exhibit was created as part of a Free Arts Professional Artist Series, in collaboration with the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix-based teaching artist, Emily Costello. During this series, teenage boys from a local shelter for unaccompanied minors visited the Phoenix Art Museum to draw inspiration from the exhibit, Border Crossings: Mexico and the American Southwest. They shared observations and interpretations, practiced sketching, and learned painting techniques. The results are visually rich narratives that demonstrate how each young artist connects with his roots.
Patrik, 17, Brazil
I was 10 years old the first time I saw Christ the Redeemer. I remember seeing him, first from his back, and there was a bird on his arm. This is why I got inspired to do this art.
I liked doing this art because it is a symbol of my country.
I learned how to paint better by mixing different colors, and I also learned that there are no mistakes when you make art.
Live with your Head Held High
Jose, age 17, Guatemala
It’s difficult when you have dreams and goals, but you do not have the resources or opportunities to reach them.
You have to keep looking for ways to succeed in a positive way.
Art gives you the opportunity to set yourself a goal and try until you accomplish your painting. During the process, you have time to value your emotions and think about your expectations. When you finish, you feel proud of your effort.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Mario, 17, Guatemala
For me, Jesus Christ represents the whole world. In my country, I listened to the word of Jesus Christ.
When I paint, my mind and my body relax. Art makes me happy. I learned that there are no mistakes in art, and that it is good to be respectful.
Jose, age 17, Guatemala
No matter where you come from, moral values are important.
I have respect for my countrymen who struggle daily to carry out their families. We have to overcome obstacles and not be part of the bad things that life has. Maintain positivity, and do things like art.
With art, I learned to relax, to express my feelings, and to value myself.
The Lighthouse in my Journey
Melchor, 17, Guatemala
Many children need help in different parts of the world. Like me, many leave their countries. I am thankful for the programs that open their doors and offer us shelter because they also help us reach our goals. During the time we are with them, they take care of us and prepare us for a better future.
I learned that there are no mistakes in art. You have to be patient.
Municipality of San Mateo Ixtatan
Juan, age 17, Guatemala
I remember the mountains, the water that flowed in the river, and the white nun orchid flowers. I also remember the road to new places.
When I paint, I am happy, and I feel that I am close to my San Mateo Ixtatan.
Every Road has its End
Edward, 16, Honduras
The railways are like the problems I’ve been through. However long and difficult, the road always ends. You shouldn’t give up because everything has a solution.
When I paint, I can relax and feel like a better person.
This experience gave me the opportunity to meet other people, see the art of the museum, and learn how to paint.