Thursday, October 18, 2012

Forming Young Artists

We Make Art!

When it rains it pours in Honduras, and this past week it was pouring art. KM2 Solutions invited OYE’s art program to join forces with a local San Pedrano artist to create one of OYE’s most recent murals. 

Gerald Velasquez 
Early Saturday morning the youth coordinator of  OYE’s Art La Calle program Gerald Velazquez, OYE’s director Marisol Fuentes, and several art participants arrived with the first light of day to the office. Snacking on baleadas and wondering what the day had in store for them, they patiently waiting the driver sent to collect them and deliver them to KM2 in San Pedro Sula. Over two months ago KM2 had started a dialogue with OYE about painting a mural in their office. Today that dialogue would come to fruition. But no one knew how it   would turn out.

In August KM2 introduced OYE and Gerald to a mysterious young artist named Jorge from San Pedro. The idea was that Jorge and Gerald would collaborate on the creation of a mural for the rapidly expanding call center. The meeting went smoothly-the two artists tossing around ideas and deciding on a few basic concepts. Everyone present left the meeting confident that in a week or two we’d be splashing some fresh paint on one of the stifling clean and sterile walls of Altia Business Park, hopefully giving the industrial behemouth some real soul and character.

Gerald's Draft - Two Youth with Mayan roots and modernity in the background.

Upon return to the OYE offices, Gerald worked day and night preparing drafts to share with Jorge and KM2.  He sent emails and follow ups but heard nothing back. Sam stepped in and communicated with Walter from KM2: “What happened to Jorge? Have you heard anything?”

The mysterious artista was off the map. The days lapsed into weeks and the weeks into months, and still no Word from Jorge. Gerald’s persistent questioning and eager attitude ebbed, and it seemed like the KM2 mural was a lost cause.

Suddenly, an email from Walter kicked the Project into high gear. The US ambassador would be visiting KM2 to learn about its relationship with OYE in two weeks. It was time to get some of that OYE youth heart and soul on the walls of KM2.  On Tuesday, an ultimatium was sent out to Jorge who finally found his keyboard and answered Wednesday. In three days OYE, Jorge, and KM2 would be putting this mural together. Jorge would be sending drafts, incorporating Geralds work, to KM2 by no later than Friday, and work would begin on Saturday.

Friday rolled around and Walter, coordinating everything on behalf of KM2, called with a little strain in his voice. Jorge had not forwarded any drafts-nor answered calls/emails. As he arranged transportation, Walter urged Gerald to have a Plan B ready.

As the OYE mural delegation arrived to KM2 at 9 AM there was no sign of Jorge. They toured the building and saw the wall that they would soon be taking over. KM2 provided refreshments as the OYE art group nervously waiting Jorge’s arrival or Walter’s go ahead to execute Plan B. KM2 held out until about mid-day when Jorge and his artist friend finally arrived in time for lunch.

Step One: Paint a Background - Jorge and Friend

After lunch they approached the wall and begin to paint. To the surprise of OYE’s younger art students they paint in with Fast bold brush strokes. They were demonstrating a new technique that the OYE students had not seen befote. Each artist freely used color and shading to craft surreal faces that came alive from the magical background. The end product created mixed reactions among OYE’s art students. Some rejecting the surreal elements of the painting, while others appreciated the creative and expressive use of color.

As the two artists concluded the surreal youth faces, OYE’s students began painting the organizations signature Maya letters. The final product a diverse and interesting merger of three distinct styles and techniques. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Adobe Update

What do Friday and Saturday have in common?

The OYE office is full of local youth! Over 60 local youth, coming as far as Santa Rita (45 minutes by bus), are participating in OYE Adobe Youth Voices Project. These youth are learning photo and video editing techniques Friday morning, Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning.

While we are just beginning to play with our new cameras and explore the Adobe programs, but the most exciting part of this project has been the evolution of the youth. We have lead team building exercises that have focused on highlighting important youth themes and practicing ways to express oneself. With every exercise our participants become more animated and willing to participate. Youth that never expressed opinions are now analyzing, and planning video/photo projects that will analyze themes like "machismo" and "what it means to be a youth in Honduras."

So far this project has received incredible support from the community. We have had the pleasure of receiving in kind support from businesses like Acosa for the purchase of our Cameras. Local NGOs have recommended youth to participate in our program including, Pronino, Casa de Cultura, Vision Mundial, Comvida, and Caritas. And, we have to give a special thanks to Martin, who shared a workshop of photography, and KM2, that brought actors to lead some dynamic workshops helping the youth find their voices and tell there stories.

In conclusion, OYE is blessed to have the community of support that surrounds us and such incredible youth to work with. The project is going great and will continue to be a grand success.

Check back tomorrow for updates on OYE's mural projects.