Hannah Traore Gallery announces “Artistic Noise: Immune Systems”, an exhibition featuring artwork created during the Harlem-based nonprofit’s Art & Entrepreneurship program, their Portraits Against Gun Violence Project, and their collaboration with Midtown Community Court’s emerging adult diversionary program. Founded in 2001, Artistic Noise is an organization devoted to encouraging creative practice by providing time, space, therapeutic, and emotional and economic support to young people whose lives have been impacted by the juvenile court system, probationary system, foster care system, and more.
Through collective artwork, self-portraits, collages, drawings, and paintings, this exhibition is a survey of healing—work created in an environment inspiring youth artists to process, express, and share their experiences. Giving support to a wide community of individuals most impacted by the juvenile court system, participants range from ages fourteen to twenty-one, many of whom are on probation, young parents, in foster care, or coming from a period of being unhoused. Surrounded by a network of educators, therapists, and peers attuned to their perspectives and needs, Artistic Noise provides young artists with studio space, therapeutic art experiences, and collaborative art making programs that promote self-advocacy through community building—tailoring involvement to each person’s unique circumstances, whether through educational and emotional support, childcare support, or opportunities for deeper, life-long participation. Artistic Noise’s Art & Entrepreneurship and Alumni Artist in Residence programs are based out of their storefront studio in Harlem—a healing and welcoming space for experimentation, exploration, and community building. For Bishop McIndoe, Artistic Noise’s first Alumni Artist in Residence, working in the Artistic Noise studio gave him a profound “sense of community, and a non-judgmental environment that I could express myself in. The community needs Artistic Noise because without AN, I wouldn’t be where I’m at, and I’m a part of the community. I’m a living breathing testimony that Artistic Noise has been helping people in the past, that they help people in the present day, and that they will continue to help people into the future.”
By compensating young people with an hourly stipend for their work, the Art & Entrepreneurship program is designed to ensure participants can prioritize personal growth, while also receiving mental health services and providing for themselves and their families. These early paid opportunities help youth develop the professional skills and confidence to activate their unique voice when sharing their experiences. Every year, Artistic Noise employs people from at least three to four different boroughs across New York City, serving a wide audience and expanding the cultures their youth groups are exposed to and connected to. As A&E participant Skyy M. reflects and looks forward, she feels, “Art has always been the highlight of my life, but I couldn’t do it on my own…Coming here, getting to do what I love, and getting paid for it—it’s a dream.”
Using the surfaces of repurposed, vintage albums as the canvases for the artworks themselves, final projects take the form of full-sized album covers highlighting everything from invented bands to personal musical projects. Exploration of identity, emotional insight, and tools of empowerment are encouraged through a trauma informed lens. Therapeutic goals include increased sense of achievement, clearer understanding of congruent identity development, and an opportunity to be witnessed and seen in a positive light. Facilitators meet each client where they are in their journey within the court system, and provide support to the young people as they navigate difficult systems. Therapeutic art making is an opportunity to hold space and allow participants to be heard.
Hannah Traore Gallery | 150 Orchard Street, New York
On View June 15-July 1, 2023
Opening June 15, 2023 | 6-8PM