After completing our collaborative art piece with Legacy LA youth, RuckusRoots and a few of the participants presented ‘Eye in the Sky’ to members of the Ramona Gardens community at the Legacy LA facilities, where it will permanently be on display.
The event , called ‘Youth Teach In’ was orchestrated by third year members of Legacy’s Youth Council Program, where they presented and discussed some of the pressing issues facing Ramona Gardens today, such as air quality, safety and food access. The program is for youth between the ages of 14-18; they meet weekly to participate in social justice and political education workshops, learning strategies and skills to organize their communities.
After the discussion, participants from RuckusRoots’ TRASHformation at Legacy took the time to explain why they made the sculpture and what it meant to them, echoing the safety and surveillance issues the Youth Council addressed. The piece explores themes of perspective: what the cameras see and what they don’t, the true Ramona Gardens (both positive and negative aspects) as seen through the eyes of our participants. Our youth explained that the surveillance cameras give them the feeling of being constantly watched. Our tree-shaped sculpture displays images the youth took, both positive and negative, and is then topped with a large paper mache eye, meant to evoke this theme of perception, both that of the police and of the actual community members.
It was great to see the participants present their work and then answer questions from a to a captivated audience. The sculpture, meant to be a statement piece, definitely made people take a second look and think deeper about an issue that’s important to Ramona Gardens.
We hope to get the piece displayed or presented to city council with some of the youth we worked with, to address the surveillance camera issue.