It’s rare to see college students willing to come back to grade school. But in this case, at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, housed in the historic former Frank B. Cooper School, it’s hard not to want to come back and be inspired by the history and atmosphere.
Last week, students from the University of Washington School of Art showcased their work in an exhibition entitled MELT – a series of photographs, installations, video and other media. It’s been a labor of love; a lot of buzz was generated around the event, as the students assembled at Youngstown for a week preparing for the showcase. The theme of the show centers around childhood and education, with tones implying that we’re all still learning outside of the classroom.
In one piece, entitled A Letter Upon Graduation, a student reflects,“19 years is a long time to be in school. And now that I’ve graduated and am out of school, I am still a student.” MELT’s namesake stems from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center’s rich history and its diverse and inclusive environment. “The inspiration for the exhibition came from the amazing historical aspect of the space and it’s diverse and democratic background,” says Hami Bahadorii, the show’s curator.
Students, faculty, and local neighbors gathered last Thursday to view the much anticipated work, in what proved to be a very successful opening. The exhibition features work by international and local artists focusing on engaging youth with the arts and sciences. It also inspires discussions on contemporary issues surrounding youth and education. The artists have been working on the show since June of last year, and their work was made specifically with Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in mind.
The exhibition will be on display in Youngstown’s gallery until March 15th.
Featured Artists: Hami Bahadorii – Matthew Bell – Mia Bian – Alex Boeschenstein – Max Cleary – Jueqian Fang – Kori Kori – Mario Lemafa – Katy Lester – Justen Waterhouse