In May 2008, The Art Connection facilitated a placement of art at this program for adolescent males involved with the Department of Children and Families; allowing the young men the opportunity to share their thoughts on artwork in a new way. They chose both abstract and representational work to add color to their living space as they develop skills to help them transition to independent living.
Sargent House, a program of Community Resources for Justice, is a group home for adolescent males committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for youth involved with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services to grow into healthy and productive young men. These youth have experienced many traumas in their young lives, and have to overcome obstacles in order to find well-being and stability. The 16 selected artworks hang in the entry way, hallways, and common areas to help make the program feel warm, inviting, and more home-like. It will add more of a personal feel and much needed color and vibrancy to the building where the residents spend most of their time.
It was wonderful to engage the young men in a conversation about artwork during the art selection process. Some were more interested in the representational works which they were able to appreciate because “it looks so real.” However, many also found fascination with more abstract works which allowed them to see different things and talk about what they saw. For example, in this selected lithograph by artist Ken Beck, the title “Circe 1997,” did not resonate so much with the young men and was not understood. Some noted that they saw a shovel at the beach, but one mentioned that he saw it as a figure holding up a large object above his head and demonstrating his strength. The conversation developed as others began to see the strength in the image as well.