On Tuesday, 50 students and staff members worked together to install black and white portraits of ROADS Bronx High School students. “I was…I am…I will be” was the idea that drove the project. This statement encourages reflection and goal setting, connected by the significance of our present day choices. Today can separate us from our past, and propel us toward the futures we want for ourselves.
Our project is the 655th group action of the InsideOut Project, (www.insideout.net) a global art movement which encourages participants to make portraits and publically post them to create curiosity, a sense of community, and beauty.
The immediate feedback from neighbors was overwhelmingly positive. One woman said to me, “These are so inspiring hanging up here. You look at (the students) in the eyes and you feel like you can be someone too.” Another person said to me, “I don’t know who these young folks are, but they look like our neighborhood’s next graduates!” The installation from the “inside” took a lot of dedication, energy (it was 90 degrees and sunny!), physical strength, a willingness to get dirty, encouragement, music and laughter. The process and product for the team was meaningful and an opportunity to strengthen our bonds.