The See Me, Hear project is a youth in custody art installation incorporating work from over one hundred and fifty participants across the state of Utah. The concept was created and spearheaded by Abe Kimball for the annual YICArts show.
Through a partnership with Spy Hop and funding from the Utah State Office Of Education, the completed projects will be displayed in 2016 during the Youth in Custody Art Show, as well as the Troubled Youth Conference.
The goal was to provide an opportunity for youth in custody to be able to express how they feel others see them juxtaposed to how they see themselves. Each participant was given a random bag of materials along with a half of a styrofoam head to decorate. The contents are intended to be collaged or assembled to show both what is observed in terms of stereotypes, misconceptions, or the masks that they wear, as well as the truth beneath the surface that we rarely show others.
“Ultimately we hope students will be able to find meaning in the items and pictures provided. We want them to be able to represent their feelings for family, homes, friends, conflicts, peace, “doing time,” etc… Ultimately, the idea is to express how they feel others see them (the exterior) juxtaposed to how they see themselves (the interior). We hope this is an enjoyable experience for all.” – Abe Kimball
When the public experiences the exhibit, there is an accompanying video of students creating their pieces. Students were also interviewed about their artistic choices, as well as how the context of their work being viewed by the public influenced what they wanted to show.
As one of the students explained it: “It helps you realize how people see you, and makes you think about what your feelings are on the inside. Sometimes you don’t think about that as hard as you would if you were painting it onto a mask.”
The exhibition will be at the Fairview Museum Of Art from March 11th to April 23rd, then at the Troubled Youth Conference at Snowbird, May 11th, 12th and the 13th.