‘Life Pieces’ Exhibit Showcases Work of African American Young Men and Boys

WASHINGTON, DC—References to friendship, African masks, basketball, America and sign language can be found among the richly hued paintings at Pepco Edison Place Gallery. The exhibit’s stitched canvases are collaborative works created by African American boys and young men aged 3 to 25 participating in Life Pieces to Masterpieces, an art-based youth development and education program.

The organization says its mission is to “provide opportunities for our apprentices to discover and activate their innate creative abilities to change life’s challenges into possibilities.” The more than 150 participants live in under-served communities east of Washington’s Anacostia River.

Pepco Edison Place Gallery serves the community by working “with nonprofit arts organizations to sponsor a series of diverse, high quality art exhibits.” Pepco provides utility service to the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Almost all of the paintings are for sale to benefit Life Pieces to Masterpieces and on exhibit from Jan. 17 to Feb. 10, 2012.

All photos by Arts Observer

All of the paintings are acrylic paint on sewn canvas. Top of page, at left, “LPTM IV,” 2003.

From left, “ABC,” 2011; “Scientist,” 2010; “Knowledge,” 2011; “Learning How to Spell,” 2011.

“Elephant,” 2011.

From left, “Helping Hand,” 2008; “USA,” 2001.

Each of the canvases was created by the young men through a collaborative process and tells a shared story.

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