Symbols of Self
This emotionally charged series of paintings was created by young men and women ages 13 to 17 participating in a Free Arts Professional Artist Program. Inspired by award winning artist and illustrator Frank Ybarra, the young painters explored the idea of a self-portrait that consisted only of symbols. Ybarra shared his own symbolic self-portrait and guided the children consider their own personal experience represented in symbols and color. Focusing on their feelings and not their external appearance, the program allowed the children to reflect on what is important in their lives and empowered them to express themselves creatively.