A new exhibit at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center shows artwork by Youth-In-Custody that portrays their relationship with water in our desert state.
The exhibit opens on March 9 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. and will be shown through June 22. The Utah Cultural Celebration Center is located at 1355 W. 3100 S., West Valley City, Utah.
The We Are All Water exhibit features portraits of Youth-In-Custody students and a collectively-dyed sheet of fabric shaped into a representation of the Jordan River, which flows near both the Decker Lake Youth Center and the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. Booklets will be available that include artwork by STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP) students. The exhibit is a collaboration between STEMCAP and the Decker Lake Youth Center.
STEMCAP is a collaborative effort between the University of Utah and the Utah State Board of Education. The program, founded in 2016, provides STEM enrichment opportunities to Youth-In-Custody. On average, 126 youth are detained in juvenile detention centers or long-term secure care facilities on any given day in Utah. An additional 128 youths receive early intervention services daily. In 2021, 5,871 youths were served. The majority of the student artists in this show reside at Salt Lake Valley Youth Center in either the detention or the residential programs, though several students commute for the Day Skills Intervention Program. STEMCAP is proud to present the artwork of these students.
Youth-In-Custody students worked with STEMCAP to think creatively about water as a unifying element; a finite resource that connects all living things. Students considered the water issues here in Utah and how waterways affect whole communities. STEMCAP workshops focusing on drought, climate change, pollution and the drying of the Great Salt Lake informed their artwork. This exhibition consists of a collectively tie-dyed cloth shaped like the Jordan River and individual self-portraits that express aspects of each student’s identity and their connection to water.
Other youth centers in Utah are engaged in producing similar artwork representing other waterways. A previous exhibit at the Day-Riverside branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library, featured art from Youth-in-Custody at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center. STEMCAP hopes to bring all of the We Are All Water artwork to an exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in coming years.
Questions? Contact Fiona Kuzmack, STEMPCAP program coordinator.