Crossroads is an art show based on a 10-week intensive art workshop for p:ear’s homeless and transitional youth guided by guest artist, Kelly Williams, using encaustic paints, techniques and materials.
Creating both a large community artwork as well as numerous individual pieces, the youth will explore the healing fire of the encaustic process of wax painting. They will embed private narrative stories within layers of paint and imagery to symbolize their own journey. Some of the personal stories will be included in a sealed envelopes and available only to the final owner to allow the youth to know that someone holds their story with honor.
This workshop is designed to create an environment of healing and trust, teamwork and individual skill building, under the strong but compassionate guidance of Healing Artist, Kelly Williams. “We are letting these kids, who have so few people to trust, healthy ways to express, process and grieve their personal stories. Essentially, what we are trying to do, is create a Crossroads for them – work with the points in their lives where they can create new decisions, by fully acknowledging the points in their lives when they didn’t.”
She continues, “I want to expose a wider audience to the more personal issues surrounding youth homelessness. Many didn’t have any power in what made them homeless, yet I want them to come to the realization they have power to make other choices to empower their own future… The complex elements of encaustic wax uniquely allows a symbolic and cathartic exploration of their journey The use of encaustic painting is a method of layering that provides a physical metaphor to be able to articulate and expand on discussions with the participants. It is a physical practice that allows for a symbolic version of approaching issues ‘one layer at a time’, an opportunity to expose, hide and then uncover, a way to integrate into the whole. It can act as a container for truths too painful to articulate in word.