Wes Sam Bruce: Professional Kids at Play!

February 12, 2019

Last week, our youth had the magical opportunity to create with visual artist Wes Sam Bruce. A self described “professional kid” Wes transformed our studio into a creative play space. Over the entire day ExYo youth had the opportunity to paint and design collaboratively, drawing inspiration from nature and personal moments of growth. 

Hannah Elementary School 4th Graders painting in thistles. Wes spoke about how thistles are the flowers that grow on the side of the road, in the ground that nobody wants, but their resilient nature means they are determined to grow and bloom in any circumstance.   

Solstice youth using paints and pastels to explore the rhythms and patterns of their ever-changing lives.

Wes had our youth paint individual wooden triangles. The designs represent a moment of personal growth or a meaningful experience in their lives. The triangles fit together to represent our separate journeys connected in community. North Shore Recovery High School Youth really connected to this part of the experience.

“Everyone hold up your hands to form a circle. This represents your whole self, and no person, pain or trauma has the right to take that away from you.” – Wes Sam Bruce 

Wes also set out 3 large black canvases that represented fresh soil – youth were able to “plant seeds” of the hopes and dreams they had for the future. One youth said: “I painted an oak seed and its roots because they can sense when another oak tree is in need. They extend their roots to help them and that’s how friendships are.” 

We were introduced to Wes through our partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum, and are thrilled to have him designing set pieces for our May 23rd show at the Boch Center-Wang Theatre in Boston. Mark your calendars –  Don’t miss it!!