Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Community Feels Pride at Arts To End Violence Gallery Opening

Youth artist Dylan Quow with artist Ron Taylor, who donated use of his gallery for
Arts to End Violence. Photo by Andrew Hinderaker.

Over 150 proud people enjoyed 52 pieces of art that were displayed at the third annual Arts to End Violence festival at the Ron Taylor Gallery on St. Johns Place between Kingston and Albany. Community residents, guests and artists mingled in the gallery, on the sidewalk, and in the Greater Restoration Baptist Church, where anti-violence advocate Pastor Ken Bogan sang with his jazz band.  Youth Organizers from our YO S.O.S. program, who helped promote and solicit art for the contest, welcomed guests at the gallery.

The art on display was a selection of the 102 pieces of art that were submitted to the Mediation Center by young people, adults, professionals, and novices for the contest. Youth art was judged by distinguished
Youth Organizers & YO S.O.S. Staff Photo by Isamar Valette
community leaders based on creativity and aesthetics, messaging, and personal statements. The winners will be announced by June 3rd, 2013, via Facebook and Twitter. All are encouraged to visit the gallery during the open hours through June 7th (see below). After the exhibit closes, some pieces will be hung in local businesses, such as barber shops, nail salons, and laundromats in order to keep the conversation about ending violence flowing.
Youth artist Kassandra DeJesus with her painting               

Arts to End Violence is an initiative of the Mediation Center and includes multiple events designed to use the arts to engage artists in the growing anti-violence movement in Central Brooklyn. The events are designed to create fun and creative opportunities for young people to express themselves and to use art to stimulate meaningful conversations about the impact of violence in the neighborhood, the causes of the violence, and the appreciation residents have for the positive aspects of the neighborhood. The next Arts to End Violence event will be a spoken word event, “Speak Your Peace,” held on June 5th at the Greater Restoration Baptist Church, 1156 St. Johns Place, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Mediation Center Director Amy Ellenbogen with youth
artist Armando Rodriguez. Photo by Isamar Valette
Mediation Center Director Amy Ellenbogen said, "It was a real pleasure to see the faces of pride and happiness that the guests and artists had during the gallery opening. There is so much talent here in the neighborhood that needs to get more attention. As we work with our neighbors to bring attention to the shootings and killings, we also shine the light on the abundant talent and gifts of the residents."

The exhibit will be open through the end of next week. All are invited to come see it during the following times:

Thursday, May 30: 2-6 p.m.
Friday, May 31: 2-6 p.m.
Saturday, June 1: Closed
Sunday, June 2: 1-5 p.m.
Monday, June 3: 4-8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 4: 4-8 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5: 2-6 p.m.
Thursday, June 6: 2-6 p.m.
Friday, June 7: 2-6 p.m.

If you would like to be involved in Arts to End Violence 2014, email us at

For more pictures of the event, see our facebook page!

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