At the beginning of 2015, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the group show REVOLVE thrown by my good friends Youthful Kinfolk, which was hosted by the good people at Oakland Terminal. OT then took this idea of the socially conscious group and individual and took it to the next level, by applying this idea of a show to an even younger group of talented artists, specifically those ages 4 to 18. This show was dubbed “If I Ruled the World”, with each artist tackling concerns and issues in today’s world that they found the need to address.
My friends Kris and Carina, of Youthful Kinfolk, invited me to mentor with them and I was up for it! We helped the young artists brainstorm things they like about the world, things they dislike, and things they would do if they ruled the world. I was blown away by the type of things these kids thought about and put into their art. Pieces spoke on issues like gender roles, today’s social climate, and the environment, things I wasn’t even aware of when I was younger.
Words cannot express how proud I am of these young artists. Not only were there a diverse array of topics, but mediums as well, like paintings, photography, collage, and sculpture. The day of the show, so many people showed up and showed support, showing so much love. The majority of pieces displayed sold, which a portion of would help fund free artist workshops at Oakland Terminal. There is also a GOFUNDME up to further raise money.
As an artist myself, a relatively young one at that, I believe it’s really important and crucial for us to recognize our influence (more on that later) and empower the youth. The simple fact that these kids are familiar with the realities of the world is kind of a win enough, but to take it to the next level and give them a platform and an opportunity to express themselves and voice to the public, their parents, and people they look up to is is a beautiful thing. I also think that to let them know that people will show up to their (first) art show and express genuine interest in their art is great for their confidence and future endeavors, making them proud and unafraid to create.
Read more about Oakland Terminal and the great people behind shows like this at Youthfulkinfolk.com and what the East Bay Express had to say about the show.