Art Class Car was a contemplative and durational performance done as an act of empathy and prayer toward my Mother, and her role in my life, as someone who continues to support me in every way possible.
I estimated that over the years she spent approximately 208 hours in the car waiting for me while I went to private art lessons after school. For five consecutive days starting March 19 to March 23 I drove to wherever my Mother happened to be that day to spend 2 hours waiting and sitting in the car. During this time I attempted to look at her with an empathetic eye and step into, as much as I could, what it must have been like to live so sacrificially for me.
February 5 - 26, 2015
Christina Young for McLean Bible Church
Dirty Laundry was a four part interactive project conceived and executed by myself under the direction of Mclean Bible Church (MBC) to be presented in the context of their weekly event, CITYWIDE. The project, taking on the theme of the CITYWIDE event as it’s title, sought to identify and own up to the ways in which The Church has not reflected the mission of Christ in important issues of the day (homophobia, racism, judgmentalism and hypocriscy); bringing Christians and "non-Christians" together to discuss these important topics.
The interactive art installation that helped to engage with and reflect on the topics of each week. Participants were invited to respond to the prompt and pin their responses to the clothesline and "air out" their "dirty laundry."
We all have our own “dirty laundry” the things we keep inside, afraid to tell anyone, because we might be judged.
This is an invitation to publicly acknowledge your private thoughts/stories/experiences i.e. an opportunity to “air out” your dirty laundry.
Week 1 - Judgmentalism/Homophobia - Describe a time when you felt judged or singled out by a Christian or in a Christian setting (or when you were the one judging).
Week 2 - Injustice - As a Church, or as an individual, where have we deviated from God’s plan by turning a blind eye to injustice, as a larger society and/or on a day to day basis?
Week 3 - Racism - Where have you seen racism, or experienced racism, or behaved in a racist manner as it relates to The Church and/or being Christian?
Week 4 - Hypocrisy - Where has The Church spoken in one way and acted in another?
Take a moment to respond with words or drawings on a piece of cloth. Take your private confession and publicly acknowledge it by pinning it to the clothesline. Feel the relief of sharing the things you thought you couldn’t.
November 7 - December 26, 2014
Christina Young uses the art and craft of dressmaking/tailoring to explore the concept of personal identity through the use of fabrics salvaged from her father's military uniforms. In doing so she uses the relic/talisman to form an association with a father she never really knew; in some ways inviting him to know her. In this very personal process of art-making the artist wrestles with experiencing her father intimately for the first time even as she transforms his life's footprint through appropriation of his garments for artistic purposes.
Also informing the work is a concurrent study of scripture searching back to the original languages. Young's previously faulty view of God's countenance towards her, and it's eventual realignment, is documented through the works. Thus she rebuilds personal identity through learning to know a perfect Father-God while simultaneously investigating the flawed man-father god. "Abiding with the Father," and her natural father, in the process of art-making, in this area of personal-challenge, allows spiritual inheritance into the construction of the art and the daughter. Through this artistic quest for identity, the artist ultimately finds herself in the Glorious Condition of Huiothes (Υἱοθεσία).
The Alexandria Community Art Library (ACAL) was created by Roman Petruniak. In celebration of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 40th Anniversary, Chicago-based artist Sara Black and the art duo Hideous Beast transformed the Target Gallery into a temporary community library. Constructed from locally sourced building materials, this community space featured a diverse array of public programming. While on the one hand serving to archive and share TFAC’s rich history as a creative place, the exhibition also questions newly emerging modes of both art making and arts funding.
I was privileged to serve as an assistant in the project as well as participate as an exhibiting artist in the ACAL with my project Say Goodbye.
Say Goodbye is an archival project centered around the fine art of saying goodbye. Sometimes living life requires a little letting go. The Say Goodbye project provides participants a safe, discreet and symbolic ritual to let go. Participants are provided custom Say Goodbye stationary to write handwritten letters. These letters are left in either a PUBLIC or PRIVATE Cabinet. Those deemed PUBLIC will are made available for following visitors to view. Those deemed PRIVATE, are locked and left in the ongoing trust of the the artist.
Say Goodbye, first conceived as a project to exist within Washington Metropolitan Area Transit (WMATA) Stations, came to life within the Cabinet of Curiosities in the Alexandria Community Library (ACAL). Say Goodbye has since been re-activated an exist within numerous other contexts.
November 1, 2013 - January 2, 2014
I had moved everything into my new home but I had to go back to my old apartment one more time to double check for anything left behind and vacuum before I turned in the keys. I went through and checked every room to make sure I didn't leave anything. I peeked into one of the closets and there they were; the old, dead and dried bouquet of flowers. I took them off the hook they were hanging from and went towards the door to throw them down the garbage chute. I stopped and turned around.
Should I take them with me? No, I couldn't. These flowers are from my past. I am headed toward a new future.
I stood in the hallway not knowing what to do. Eventually I hung the flowers back up where they were. Tears rolled down my face. I sat down in the middle of the hallway on the floor. I was so confused.
Why was this so hard? They are dead flowers! What the heck am I crying about?!
I grabbed my phone, still sobbing, and dialed my best friend. She was the person I went to whenever I needed comfort or prayer. She answered the phone. I babbled on and on about how I was moving my stuff out and I found these flowers that I had forgotten about. I explained that for some reason I couldn't throw them away. I couldn't take them with me either. What was I going to do? Why did I feel like a crazy person?
These were the first flowers I had ever gotten from a man. They were from a man I loved and love very much. He was like a disease, with no cure.
My friend listened to me patiently. She comforted me with heartfelt words and spoke with honesty. "You'll get your flowers one day."
We spoke a little more and hung up. I went back to the closet. I took my camera and snapped a picture of the flowers. I didn't have any plans for the picture but I just wanted to at least have a photo of it; proof that my memories weren't a figment of my imagination. These memories were real. I had experienced this human being and I was changed because of it.
Eleven months later, to the day, Flowers One Day opens.
Special thanks to: Leslianne Braunstein, Bud Hensgen, Broehe Karpenko, Rusty Lynn, Betsey Mayotte, Pam Moyer, Anita Naylor, Lisa and Jay Smith
September 13 - November 7, 2017
Curated by Christina Young
In his series “Imago Verbosa,” David Hollier creates images of cultural and political icons as composites of their famous words in the form of painted and typed text. Part social commentary and part documentary, Hollier’s work literally blurs the lines between pop culture and politics and invites us to consider the power of words to influence and endure.
In “Everyday Strangers,” New York-based artists Shannon Berry and Lisa Ferber offer their observations on life in the city through their illustrations of figures interacting with one another and their environments.Though their approaches, styles and interpretations differ, both artists present scenes relatable in their visual recognition and emotional resonance. Comical, melancholic, whimsical and thoughtful — it is in entering these scenes that they invite us to consider how we enter the lives of one another, the strangers who are in fact our neighbors. Making room for such connections allows space to contemplate the levity and poignancy of our daily interactions.
“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
April 12 - June 29, 2017
Curated by Christina Young
In “Wish for Wholeness” Beth Barron collects discarded bandages and other personal remnants to create a visual metaphor of the wounded yet resilient human spirit. The labor-intensive technique of hand-stitching that Barron practices becomes a spiritual exercise for the artist that allows time for personal reflection, contemplation, and eventual renewal. Barron’s finished works, a physical transformation from scraps into a whole, challenge us to consider our own suffering, brokenness and desire for healing.
In this group exhibit held in conjunction with the Hope Gathering, an annual convening for women of faith from around New York City, six featured female artists explore the perseverance and persistence of hope especially in the face of doubt. Experiencing everyday challenges and sometimes life-challenging tragedies, each artist reflects on what it means to live with uncertain faith: longing for pregnancy through years of apparent infertility, struggling with feeling comfortable in one’s own skin, or surviving the stresses of modern life as a mother.
In the midst of their fear and anxiety, these women articulate and strive to live out a Biblical understanding of Hope. As the book of Hebrews states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see,” so these women wrestle with what it means to press on even when tossed by uncertainty. By doing so they invite us to consider: How does a faith filled with confidence and certainty change how we hope?
July 21 - September 4, 2016
Interactive Exhibit Sourced on Instagram
Curated by Christina Young
“Home, in the end, is of course not just the place where you sleep. It’s the place where you stand.” — Pico Iyer
Making Place is an interactive art exhibit of collective memories and places of meaning on the Upper West Side. The exhibit seeks to draw communities together by creating a larger community around the shared human experiences of Joy, Love, Change, Beauty and Loss within the physical space of our UWS neighborhood.
Please visit our interactive Making Place map to see more or to take a self guided walking tour of images.
March 15 - May 1, 2016
Curated by Christina Young
While staying with the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, during Lent and Holy Week in 2006 and 2007, Jason Hamacher experienced and documented the people, landscape, and culture of one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions in the world. In these images of Syria, we see the resiliency of a culture that has sustained for two millennia but currently faces endangerment in the midst of an ongoing civil war. Hamacher invites us to retrace his journey to these ancient sites and allows us to ponder the legacy and history that we inherit from those before us and what we forge for the generations that follow.
In the decade since these photos were taken, much has happened to the people and places documented within: many of the buildings have been destroyed and the Archbishop was kidnapped by terrorists in April 2013 and has yet to be found. This exhibition commemorates the loss as much as it prompts us to consider the current conflicts and displacement within the fabric of the country's larger history, challenging the viewer to appreciate the richness of the past while striving to preserve the sanctity of faith and life for the future.
"Never before in its history has Syria experienced any such monstrous, criminal acts. All Christian and Muslim citizens used to live in harmony, affection, solidarity, mutual help, national community … such that it was considered an Arab and world model.”
— Patriarch Gregorios III, Melkite Greek Catholic Church
"The purpose of education is to raise a generation of people who are engaged in the world around them, able to imagine greater possibilities in themselves and in society, and equipped to be the ones that start that change."
- Christina Perry
I am an experienced arts educator having previously worked in K-12 public education in FCPS (Fairfax, VA) and DCPS (Washington DC) and as a Teaching Artist in community arts organizations serving under-served youth in urban communities.
In 2014, young and emerging arts administrators and artists from Torpedo Factory Arts Center and Convergence Arts Initiative began meeting together to discuss ways to bring renewal to the arts scene in Alexandria, VA. During these talks CRAVE was born and I, along with a team from both Convergence and The Torpedo Factory, became a key person in the CRAVE initiative.
CRAVE (Creating Resources for Artistic Vision and Engagement) is a micro-granting dinner in the DMV designed to support creative projects inspired by the arts, to engage and benefit the local community. This is how it works
1. For a $15 donation, attendees receive a simple, yet hearty meal and a vote.
2. Four presenters each with a project to benefit the community by means of creativity, five minutes
3. Dinner with a time to ask questions; share resources and vote on the project that will best serve their community.
4. Winner takes home an on-the-spot micro-grant made up of the donations from the dinner.
The CRAVE initiative promotes engaging in conversation, deriving new means to support creative projects and cultivates new supporters and patrons of the arts. It is also a way of encouraging the role of artists and art-making in our community as social and civic engagement.
June 26th and 27th
Curator and Exhibiting Artist
Fest Too was an annual festival celebrating the DIT/DIY community, hosted by the Lab All Ages. The Lab All Ages is a collective of artists, musicians, and organizers all invested in cultivating a thriving DIY/DIT scene in Northern Virginia. Together we have created a space to showcase a diverse group of up-and-comers from all ends of the artistic spectrum. Fest Too included workshops, over 40 musical performances, and art exhibits, as well as hosting distros from around the DMV.
For Fest Too 2015 I was asked to create an exhibit as well as a Call for Art.
Using the framework of “Humanizing Art” and “Doing Life Together,” create a work of art that will decorate and/or physically inhabit the space for Fest Too 2014. The project must be a collaboration between two or more people. This work should speak to what it means to be a part of the Lab All Ages community or invite the audience into the experience of Fest Too by creating a space for social interaction and creative play.
Why Humanizing Art and Doing Life Together?
“Millennials” (Generation Y) are those born between 1983 and the early 2000s. This generation, our generation is the most connected ever. We are the first to grow up with the Internet and use palm sized computers to talk with people halfway across the world. With the prevalence of Facebook and other social media, we have the ability to stay plugged in 24/7.
Ironically, it is reported that Gen Y is fast becoming the most isolated and lonely generation. What if we aren’t lonelier than those before us but simply more acutely sensitive to our “alone-ness” because we are constantly notified of our friend’s seemingly perfect lives through social media?
The Lab All Ages seeks to create a community of DIT (Doing It Together). Through music and arts we seek to experience/share/question/interpret our lives and create authentic (face-to-face) friendships. In this way, we “do life together” and allow our art to be a humanizing force in the world.
We encourage out of the box thinking. Art can be anything from 2D/3D to installation, to video to performance and anything in between! Your “art” can be an actual object, an event or “happening” or even an artifact of the process of an artistic experience. Think WAY beyond the confines of a canvas!
From the beginning, St. Elmo's Coffee Shop was designed to be a community gathering place. Anyone and everyone comes not only to drink the coffee but sit and read the paper, enjoy art by local artists, listen to great live music and most of all enjoy the community and conversation of others.
Located minutes from St. Elmo's, The Lab All Ages music program at The Lab @ Convergence is another place that seeks to build and foster community, particularly around the common love of music and art.
"I love. . . ." was a participatory art project designed to document and amplify all the reasons why we love certain neighborhood hangout spots, while building community around those common loves in our neighborhood, places like The Lab @ Convergence and St. Elmo's
"I love . . ." existed in the context of St. Elmo's Coffee Pub and the Fest Too art exhibit.
Installed September 2013
Albus Cavus in collaboration with Christina Young and Convergence
The dream of a mural at Convergence was initially raised by the young people of the Lab All Ages (LAA) program. The LAA functions as a mentorpship program with volunteers who host a bi-weekly open mic, music showcases, a sound studio and practice space for emerging bands and musicians.
At the time I was serving as Resident Artist at Convergence and was all interested in learning more about painting murals. So I ran with the idea and approached DC mural artists, Albus Cavus with a proposal to launch the project and secured a grant from the Duke Street Trinity Memorial Baptist Foundation.
The project began with a "town hall" style meeting of church members and Arts Initiative participants, LAA, studio artists, space users, neighbors etc. Everyone shared with one another and with the artists about their experiences, hopes, dreams and values as the Convergence community for what might happen in this space. The artists from Albus Cavus then took our ideas and translated them into a design which they painted with help from Convergence participants.
Once the designed was finalized Albus Cavus outlined the mural on the wall and several "painting parties" were scheduled where Convergence community members could come and fill in blocks of color. Later the artsits from Albus Cavus made finishing touches on the now completed mural.
The mural inhabits a large wall in a high traffic area on the Convergence campus and serves as a visual reminder of what Convergence means to all the different members of the community and as a point of meeting and conversation for individuals who might not connect otherwise.