A new invitation-only exhibit for young people called “Conversation Pieces” will be heading to Bankhead Plaza in downtown Livermore later this month.
The exhibition, designed by Livermore artist Thomasin Dewhurst, brought together young artists from across the Tri-Valley to collaborate on a series of hand-painted banners in “diverse and personal ways,” according to organizers.
“I wanted to do something that would beautify the community and make people work together, so you get that community spirit and feel like you connect with other people,” Dewhurst told The Weekly of his vision behind the project. .
“Also, as an outdoor exhibit – mostly I wanted it because of COVID – but also outdoors, it’s welcoming to everyone while an indoor exhibit seems sort of exclusive,” he said. she said, adding that the exhibit is meant to reach out to the community and bring people together.
Dewhurst works with young people as an art instructor and she said she recognizes that her students have a lot to say and skills to share, so she decided to invite other local young people to get involved. in the project and giving back to their community and representing organizations. they are part of it.
Some of the participating groups include Fellows from the Pedrozzi Foundation, Quest Science Center, JazzLabb / Element 116, Del Arroyo 4-H Club, and Dewhurst’s own art students.
The banners will be on display to the public from October 17 and on display until the end of the month. The opening event is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be open to the public. Dewhurst said participating organizations will have tables set up at the event with leaflets and members providing information on their respective groups.
The Tri-Valley Writers (TVW) – a regional branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) – were among the local organizations selected to participate in the project.
The group enlisted the participation of its student members and 2021 high school writing competition winners to contribute to the group’s banner, which honors notable writers associated with CWC and TVW, including Jack London, Andy Weir, Ann Parker. and Kanchan Naik, the 2019-2020 Teen Poet Laureate for the City of Pleasanton, according to TVW President Jordan Bernal.
Bernal said the project was a unique opportunity for their young members to connect and collaborate in person and meet other writers and artists from other schools and organizations, which they had not previously been able to do in due to the restrictions related to the pandemic.
For approximately two weeks, the students used their own prose, poetry, and artistic skills to create lifelike images of each author.
“I really enjoyed working on the banner project and felt it gave a voice to young people in our community to express our opinions through an art project,” said Rohan Chandran, senior at Monte. Vista High School and two-time TVW Essay Contest. winner.
“My words on the banner were related to my essay on ‘Staying the Course on Negativity’, how our society has developed a propensity to value negative experiences over positive, and the need for all of us to go. on a “low-bad ‘diet by limiting our’ consumption ‘of negative information,” he added.
Mikayla Marinko, a junior at Livermore High School, told The Weekly that she has been recognized by TVW in the past for her poetry. She said she was happy that TVW contacted her and proud to have helped create the “Conversation Pieces” banner as it turned out to be “amazing”.
She contributed two of her original poems to the banner, including one titled “Depresion” which aims to raise awareness about mental health and another titled “Not All Men” which focuses on sexual assault awareness.
“I really can’t wait for people to see (the banner) because it’s so cool and it’s definitely a talking point because if you look at the pictures it’s one thing, but when you start to reading the words really adds to the whole experience, ”said Marinko.
Leaving Bankhead Plaza at the end of the month, Dewhurst said the exhibit is expected to move to Marilyn Avenue Elementary School in December, then to Wente Vineyards in February for an event and possibly to the Livermore Library after that. With each new location, Thomasin will be offering art workshops and collaborative projects to other community groups.
Dewhurst said one of his goals is to eventually exhibit the exhibit in nearby towns, including Pleasanton and Dublin.