Main Gallery

Garden of Candor: the 2022 Locust Art Builders Exhibition

Press Release
Opening Reception

Locust Projects is proud to present Locust Art Builder’s Garden of Candor. Now in its 12th year, Locust Art Builders: Summer Art Intensive for Teens, aka LAB, is a unique four-week pre-college program for high school students with an interest in art, design, and exploring creative careers.

The students are selected through an online open call process from schools across Miami-Dade County for the opportunity to learn from a Lead Artist Mentor and other professional artists in a dynamic on-site program and build and art exhibition in Miami’s longest running alternative art space from scratch.

Each year’s exhibition evolves as a unique and timely reflection of the current issues and ideas impacting youth today.

For the 2022 LAB students’ their exhibition, Garden of Candor, “is the ultimate peace, enlightenment, and acceptance gained through self-actualization reached after a long, arduous, and oftentimes traumatic experience.”


Many people struggle and grapple throughout their lives on this path. This struggle and its outcome are what this exhibition aims to simulate through a series of sectors representing different steps on said path. In The Garden of Candor, these stages are "Reality", Chaos, Depression, and finally, Transcendence.

“Reality” represents the world we are presented with and ultimately have to break through to begin our journey. This is depicted through a seemingly stereotypically "perfect" house, which upon closer look, reveals a myriad of problems. This reflects both literally on how many's home lives are very different privately, and also figuratively on how the systems we come to accept are far more convoluted and negative than they appear.

This then transitions into the next sector, Chaos. This sector is representative of the inner turmoil experienced when one is confronted by the reality of the world around them. The room emulates a child's playroom, carrying the motif of the home. This room evokes chaos, overstimulation, and confusion.

After the expenditure of mental energy this turmoil requires, many fall into a deep Depression. This hallway portrays the raw, blank, and ever-expanding feeling brought about by such depression. This is shown by a bedroom that has fallen into decay by neglect.

Following this is Transcendence. Serving as a perfect foil to the negative space of contemplation evoked by Depression, Transcendence is the ultimate stage after struggling on the path to self-actualization. This sector represents a garden, made to look warm, inviting, and ethereal.

LOCUST ART BUILDERS (aka LAB): Summer Art Intensive for Teens promotes contemporary art and project-based learning as a means to encourage creativity, critical analysis, and problem solving, while building communication skills. LAB extends Locust Projects’ nearly 25-year commitment as an incubator of new art and ideas, by supporting experimentation and innovation in artistic practice with the next generation of South Florida artists.

2022 Locust Art Builders (LAB) is made possible through lead support from the Hillsdale Fund Inc. and the Albert and Jane Nahmad Family Foundation. Additional support provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children's Trust; The Kirk Foundation; Susan and Richard Arregui and the Incubator Annual Fund’s Friends of Next Generation.

Want to learn more about what makes LAB so special? See this video made by past LAB students.

2022 LAB: Locust Art Builders

Welcome to Miami's incubator of new art and ideas.

Come visit us! Summer hours Wed-Fri 11am-5pm, and Saturdays by appointment.

Want to know about upcoming exhibitions, programs, and events and Locust Projects' exciting new chapter in a new home? Get Artist eNews with opportunities for artists? Get connected today: sign up for monthly eNews here.


As Miami's leading alternative nonprofit art space, we rely on the support of donors to help make art happen. Thank you for considering a tax-deductible donation today. 

Introducing the Incubator Fund - Join Today