Fields Corner art program hopes to engage teens

By 
Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 3, 2014

A summertime art program geared towards teenagers begins next week in Fields Corner. “Portraits, People and Places: Changing the World” will operate from the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) Cleveland Community Center on Charles Street.

 Instructor Leslie MacWeeney will collaborate with the VietAID Youth Program to present teens with an extraordinary art experience and exhibition opportunity. MacWeeney, along with instructor Bihn Lam, will guide their students through a seven-week course from July 7-August 22 with support from Fields Corner Branch of the Boston Public Library.

 “Students who do visual arts don’t usually get as much attention as the music student so this is a cool opportunity for those kids to get noticed,” MacWeeney.

 The 25-30 teens chosen will explore different meanings of the word “change” through life-size figurative paintings/portraits using recycles material and acrylic paint that reflect and celebrate their selves and their community. This year Shakespeare and Picasso are the main focus points. Students will gain understanding on ways to illustrate and visually represent the world.

 “In the past students have made portraits of their own heads and put it on the body of a Shakespeare character they most identified with,” said MacWeeney.

 Actor Johnny Lee Davenport, who currently works with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, is a former portrait program student who will come and speak to students about Shakespeare. The program will also have an exercise portion and healthy food discussion led by the All Dorchester Sports League and Harbor Health Services Inc.

 At the end of the program students will get to celebrate their hard work and art pieces, at a reception set for August 21.

 The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will help out by display doors that will be hinged on the streets of Fields Corner.  The displays will be kept for passerbys to view.

 “Through this program I want the students to gain self-confidence, respect for one another, and learn how to give back to their community,” said MacWeeney.

 For more information or to make a donation to support the program call 617-822-3717 x21.