Jen Clark was invited by the City of Surrey Hang Out Make Art youth program to participate in a series of outreach art making activities aimed at encouraging connection between local artists and youth. Jen planned and carried out (with the support of staff from this program) several art activities in relation to her own art making approaches at several high schools in Surrey as well as Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. A design for a mural was formulated by Jen, and together with the students it was created and displayed in Clayton Heights.
About the mural: Participating students painted one abstract portrait to reflect their present self and one to represent their future. These portraits were then photographed and digitally arranged - with the present portraits on the bottom and the future portraits on the top. These portraits tell a story of a community navigating diverse life experiences. They recognize the full range of youth emotions, including both the positive and negative ends of the spectrum. By juxtaposing images of their present and future selves, youth envision where they want to go in life. It fosters a growth perspective; youth are not limited by who they are now, but rather they can grow into the person they want to become. Placing this artwork in public space validates youth experience and empowers them to share their positive message with the neighbourhood.
Mind the Weather: Artist Talk & Plein Air Painting
Youth from the “Hang Out Make Art Program” (City of Surrey) came for an artist talk at Jen Clark and Mel Yap’s exhibition “Mind the Weather” at the Crescent Beach Pop-up Gallery. After the talk the group went to the beach to paint plein air, inspired by the exhibition.