ArtReach is cWOW’s award-winning mentoring program that nurtures the next generation of artists and art leaders. The program exposes high school students to the real life of working artists. The artist helps the student complete an art project for professional presentation, while the student assists the artist in his/her studio with work that might not otherwise be possible.
Miriam wanted to paint large, mural-sized paintings of scenes from back home in Ghana. She learned fast as we experimented with priming and sanding large, industrial canvases until we had created a surface for her. I also taught her how to edit videos and she helped me log my tapes. Afterward, we exhibited our work together at City Without Walls.
While mentoring Mariam, I created a new series of landscape videos which document the contrast between the Meadowlands Environmental Center and the adjoining active landfill. In Meadowland, the time and audio are fragmented and pulsating, gradually shifting the focus from a tiny, blue, jewel- like bird to a piece of earth-moving equipment working nearby.
The personal bonds that resulted from this relationship created a powerful and rewarding experience for me and I hope the same for my mentee, Miriam. I think the lush landscapes we sought out for our works were no coincidence.