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Watsonville Students Promote Peace Through Art

The "Peace in Our Street” inside-out photo project comes to the Pajaro Valley this month.

By Lori Butterworth, Ceiba College Prep

Four Watsonville schools will join forces with the (PVAC) for a unique public arts project designed to contemplate the question: How can we bring peace to our streets? This group of local youth has an answer: Art. 

Inspired by street artist and TED prize winner “JR,” on July 8 students from , and will affix nearly 100 large, black and white portraits to exterior walls throughout downtown Watsonville.

“The teens are participating in a world-wide initiative,” said PVAC Board Member Jean Beebe. “The Inside Out Project is an international, participatory art project that takes messages of personal identity and transforms them into pieces of artistic work.”

“The portraits these young people will display around the city reflect the beauty and diversity of Watsonville,” said Watsonville Mayor Eduardo Montesino, who will be cutting the ribbon and guiding a walking tour of the exhibit on July 15. “The creativity and positive leadership these young people are demonstrating for our city have reignited our hope for the future.”

The teens chose the theme: Peace in Our Streets: You Only Live Once. Then, they contacted the Inside Out Project in France to see if Watsonville could participate in the global initiative. With a resounding “Yes” from the Inside Out headquarters in Paris, the young people collected photographic portraits in the style being used across the globe to promote peace around the world in cities from Tel Aviv, Israel to Caracas, Venezuela. Students themselves, some of their teachers, and even some professional photographers like Joop Rubens and Jim Schwartz volunteered the capture the images that will be exhibited on the buildings. The exhibit will be displayed from June 8 through September.

The teens and PVAC are asking for volunteers from the community to help install the portraits on the exterior walls of downtown Watsonville on Bring brushes, push brooms and ladders to paste these 3-by-5-foot portrait posters of our youth on four city buildings. View the trailer on www.insideoutproject.net to see what it’s all about. 

To volunteer please contact: Jean Beebe at 831-688-1907 or jbeebe92@aol.com

Jenny Sarmiento July 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM
What an exciting and important project! I know that most youth in our community are involved in positive activities so it's uplifting to read about it. I encourage all adults to come out to view the photographs and support our youth.

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