Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact:  Airika Brunson
Phone:  215-686-3572

Philadelphia juveniles paint their way to a second chance

At-risk student art exhibit opens at Family Court Division

Philadelphia, March 25—In partnership with INLIQUID Art and Design, the Office of the Sheriff of the City and County Of Philadelphia, invites the public to view the Traveling Youth Art Exhibition starting on Tuesday, April 1 through April 30, 2014 between the hours of 2pm and 5pm at the Philadelphia Family Division of Juvenile Court, 1801 Vine Street.  The Art Exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the talents, creativity and determination of local public school students who were once affected by the juvenile justice system—in some cases due to circumstances beyond their control.  Their artwork portrays their vision of their communities and homes.

The Office of the Sheriff is sponsoring the art exhibit to support innovative programs that provide second chances to youth, some of whom have been in detention.  In 2013, the Sheriff's Office delivered 7,177 juvenile inmates to court and sentencing hearings.

“The vast majority of these young people are from neighborhoods with known gang, high crime rates and urban blight; they need creative options–including art programs, education and job opportunities,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.  “I'd rather see the youth packing pens, paint brushes, paper, notebooks and computers than packing pistols, shot guns, or gang tattoos.”

"I would like to see more of these art programs throughout the city, especially if they result in fewer juveniles visiting my court house," says Judge Kevin Dougherty, Administrative Judge of the Family Division of Juvenile Court.  “Since 2009, the number of juvenile arrests have been decreased by nearly 3,000, we want to continue that trend.” 

The Traveling Youth Art Exhibit collectioncontains works fromstudents at Edison High School, The Philadelphia Mural Arts Guild, Harrington Elementary School, and Moore College of Arts Learning through Photography Program.  More than 30 pieces are on exhibit, representing students from all grade levels.The students were chosen from arts education programs; each has had experience in the criminal justice system or spent time in detention.

These youth artists were involved in art-making and engaged in creative outlets through their schools or through community organizations that prioritized access to the arts. The Traveling Art Show proves that all children and youth in Philadelphia need and deserve to have access to these same kinds of programs and opportunities.  The artists from the Mural Arts Guild program are former dropouts who have returned to earn their high school diplomas.

The exhibit is one of INLIQUID’s Juvenile In Justice programs which include a Youth Ambassador Program and the first free juvenile record expungement clinic in Philadelphia.  The clinic is a partnership with Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE).  The Youth Art Show is traveling regionally throughout 2014.  

“Arts education plays an essential role in providing young people with tools to understand the world and to express themselves,” according to Rachael Zimmerman, President of INLIQUID. “By having them address issues related to both personal hardships and the justice system through art, we are able to learn from them and gain crucial insights from the perspectives of youth in our community, allowing us to better engage them and provide support.”

The Exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 and runs thru April 30, 2014, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

About the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff

The Office of the Sheriff, City and County of Philadelphia is committed to serving and protecting the lives, property and rights of all within a framework of high ethical standards and professional conduct at all time.  The Office is responsible to provide safety to all that enter Philadelphia courtrooms including, judges, juries, defendants, witnesses, courtroom personnel and the public.  It is also responsible to manage all First Judicial Court ordered foreclosures of property - that includes mortgage and tax sales, in an ethical, honest, transparent and respectful manner while offering dignity to all involved in the procedure.

About InLIQUID

InLiquid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 280 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.

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