Found in Austin program student artwork on display Monday

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West Side youth will get a chance next week to show off their work created through the month-long summer “Found in Austin” art program.

Their final projects will be displayed from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 16 at Oscar DePriest Elementary School, 139 S. Parkside Ave.

Using the theme, where are you from, where have you been and where do you want to go, students created various types of art including maps, collages and water color drawings, and were encouraged to incorporate Austin into their work.

Teaching artist Anthony Rea said it’s fun working with the fifth- through- eighth -grade Austin students.  Rea and the other teaching artist Diego Gutierrez encouraged the youth to tell a personal story with their art.

The Found in Austin program also held a gallery at Austin Town Hall Park last month to showcase previous student artwork.

Sixth-grader James Duke worked on his yellow background for his collage Monday morning at the school.

He said he’ll add a map of Mississippi and Tennessee to his collage because he’s visited those states along with a map of Chicago where he lives. He’ll also add the Duke University logo to his artwork, because that’s where he wants to attend school in the future.

“I want to be a CEO of a really big corporation or go to law school” Duke said, adding that he’d also like to play basketball. “Hopefully it will go as planned.”

Duke said he enjoys drawing and does it at home.

“Sometimes I draw my little brother,” Duke said. “He always wants to color and draw.”

Jasmine Harrison, a fifth grader, was busy drawing a picture of the Willis Tower.

She said the best part of the program is that she gets to draw, but she said she also learned how to make stencils and spray paint T-shirts.

One student glued a map of the Little Italy neighborhood of Chicago to her collage, because she’s visited that part of Chicago. She also drew pictures of trees and cut out a map of Austin, where she attends school, and the South Side, where she lives, and used the cutouts as leaves for the trees. At the bottom of her artwork is a map of Los Angeles.

“That’s where I want to go,” Jada Harris, an eighth grader, said. “I want to go to the beach and go shopping.”

Another eighth grader, Jashena Norris, cut out a picture of a person running and glued that on top of her collage. She said it represents being healthy and exercising, which she wants to do more. She also created a poster addressing parental neglect in Austin, which will be displayed at the school Monday.

She said she read a news article about a mother who neglected her son in the area. The son was left alone, and the house caught fire. A neighbor was able to rescue the boy.

“(The family) wasn’t taking care of him,” Norris said. “They neglected him. I made a poster to stand for that.”

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