Project Jericho – Summer Camp

Spread your Wings:

Wow what a week!

Project Jericho is a well-oiled machine, that believes that art heals. They provide the most impressive programming for the Springfield community.

Summer camp consisted of 30+ teens spending time working on mosaics, poetry, bookmaking, painting, and photography.

Each teen created an individual 8 x 10 mosaics to take home. The theme of camp was “Spread your Wings” so there were lots of birds, butterflies, and even a dragon or two.

In addition to their own mosaics, they contributed on a collaborative mosaic that will ultimately be installed at the new student union on the Clark State campus. (Installation set for July 28). The contemporary collaborative piece is made up of 10 – 20” x 40” tempered glass panels that will hang with backlight streaming in to reveal the complex art glass colors.

The participants also worked with a visual artist , Kayla Waldron, Penny House Creative. They painted backdrops with wings that later were used for a photo shoot of each teen where they could let their personality shine.

Finally, the bookmaking, writing and poetry by Sarah Leavens, writer, artist, teacher, gave the teens a way to express themselves through a totally different process. I had the opportunity to read some of their stories and poems. They were absolutely beautiful, raw, honest, and heartfelt.

Project Jericho gives these teens a chance to reveal themselves, to use art as a way to cope and share a bit of who they are.

At the end of the week, the teens took pride in showing off their art. Project Jericho does not just have the poetry books and mosaics and photos displayed on a table….NO, not Project Jericho. They go WAY beyond the basic presentation, they make each student a star. Each mosaic was presented in a display unit that accented their piece beautifully. Each photo with the wings was blown up to poster size and carefully mounted and displayed. And each handmade book of stories and poems was displayed for the crowd to see.

In addition to all of that fabulous-ness, Project Jericho provided the teens the opportunity to work with Amena Brown, a poet and spoken word artist. She gave the students instruction on performing, read their stories, and finally gave a handful of them the opportunity to perform on stage.

I truly am not sure if for a week I am giving to them through my mosaic art or are they giving to me? I left Springfield, Ohio and Project Jericho knowing that art really does heal, and amazingly it heals EVERYONE involved.

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