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Locust Art Builders: The Rebirth

Press Release

Locust Projects is proud to present the culminating exhibition project by this year’s cohort of teens participating in Locust Art Builders (LAB): Summer Art Intensive for Teens. Celebrating its 10th anniversary year, LAB brings together a diverse group of high school-aged aspiring artists from schools across Miami-Dade County for a four-week Summer Art Intensive for Teens, where they learn to collaboratively build an exhibition from scratch and begin the process of building the world they imagine.

The Summer Art Intensive tooks place from July 7-July 30 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on ZOOM, from 1-3pm. The culminating LAB exhibition this year has been adapted from the usual gallery exhibition to a more than 80-foot long public art project on the highly visible storefront windows along N. Miami Ave. and 39th St. in the Miami Design District, making it accessible to all, 24/7, by foot or by car.

Each year’s show evolves as a unique and timely reflection of the current issues and ideas impacting youth today. This year’s theme, The Rebirth, is inspired by concepts of transformation and change that everyone goes through in life and that the students especially relate to as teens navigating an unpredictable and shifting world, simultaneous with the changes they experience as their identities evolve and sense of self emerges.

The public exhibition consists of a unifying illustration that unfolds across the length of the window panels, interspersed with various elements contributed by each student, from writing, drawing, painting, photography, and video insertions. In addition to their weekly Zoom sessions, the students developed their ideas and collaborated on and shared their concepts over Instagram group chats after class. The project also consists of an online zine with additional works and artist statements from each student.

The title of the exhibition is The Rebirth, a seemingly simple phrase that, according to the students, yields infinite meanings. The dictionary defines rebirth as the process of being reincarnated or of starting to flourish or increase after a decline. However, taking a deeper look into the word itself gives it a whole other meaning. Whether from a religious, literal, or spiritual point of view, rebirth emits quite a strong feeling. For the students, its meaning ranges from transformation, to new beginnings and change, and even to life in and of itself. They believe it’s impossible to understand their concept without taking the time to interpret rebirth for yourself.

Their goal with the project is to create an experience that opens the viewers’ eyes to the endless possibilities life holds, even if it seems hopeless at times. Everyone has a chance at their own form of rebirth, and with their project, the students hope to inspire everyone to give themselves a chance at their own new beginning.

One of the collaborative contributions inserted into the overall piece is a video titled “The enduring cycle of strangers.” According to student artists Satya Clemetson, Katharine Guzman, Isabella Mendoza, and Olivia Rubell, “As humans, we all deem that our experiences and traumatic events can be compared and judged by a stranger's mentality and perspective. We grow and transform every passing day, constantly learning from others and ourselves.”

While collaborating via social distancing, they recreated their ideas of what self-isolation can do to one's mental health, as well as how it transforms and recreates one’s self again. Their film communicates four different stories from four different perspectives. Collectively, it portrays feelings of built up anxiety and creates a space of infinite sounds, about which they say, “The constant ticking noise that a standard clock makes signifies that we all run out of time and become someone new. We're all bound to change as individuals, but there's no set time or place that it may occur.”

Participating Student Artists: Selena Bracamontes, Daniela Camacho, Myona Clay, Satya Clemetson, Camila Diaz, Kiara Figueredo, Annai Flores, Katharine Guzman, Abigail Lambert, Ian Mena-Lopez, Cooper Menachem, Isabella Mendoza, Emily Miller, Matthew Monzon, Adriana Paredes, Lesli Pineda, Skylar Rosario, Olivia Rubell, Cameron Santamarina, Ava Santiesteban, Kimberly Seda, Sabrina Sierra, Darryl Thomas, Florencia Umpierrez, Valerie Vazquez.

Schools represented: Design and Architecture Senior High, Doctors Charter School Miami Shores, Fort Lauderdale High, Gulliver Preparatory, Hialeah Senior High School, Miami Arts Charter School, Miami Beach Senior High School, Miami Carol City Senior High School, Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Pinecrest Preparatory Academy Middle/High School, Ransom Everglades School, Somerset Academy South Homestead High School, South Miami Senior High, TERRA Environmental Research Institute.

Watch our LAB 10th Anniversary celebratory video!
Watch the LAB 2020 Mentor Meet + Greet video!

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