Public Art Process

REACH Public Art Program  The goal of the public art program at REACH Ashland Youth Center is to generate positive, uplifting art experiences that create a sense of place and to engage and honor youth and community. Local youth had the initial vision for a youth center and played a pivotal role in planning and making it a reality. Part of that process included their contribution to the public art program and their voices are present in the finished artworks. Youth contributed to the public art program plan and goals, provided feedback on the artwork locations, and served on committees to choose the artists. They also gave feedback to the artists about their designs and collaborated with the artists by sharing ideas and making artwork together. The public artwork contributes to a vibrant and inspiring space where youth can thrive, be creative, and cultivate positive change.

Ashland Youth Center

Top image: Codex to the Future, 2012, cast concrete tiles. Bottom image: Center of the Center, 2012, laser-engraved and colored pavers. Photos © Sibila Savage.

EDUARDO PINEDA AND JOAQUIN A. NEWMAN Working in collaboration with local youth and their families, Pineda and Newman created a library of images that emulate ancient pictographs from multiple world cultures in order to transcend the limitations of written language. The images in the amphitheater focus on the themes of: learning and discovery; people and relationships; and nature, community, and place. A selection of the images also appear in the courtyard where the artists hope to provide a space for individuals to ‘center’ themselves at the heart of the facility while encouraging introspection and self-awareness. Walking the labyrinth will connect future generations of youth with the generation who made REACH a reality. “I am so inspired that young people organized and advocated for the youth center. Their dedication and constructive approach models what our society needs right now – cooperation and focus on making the world more livable.” – Eduardo Pineda “I want to inspire young people to nourish their creative selves, to continue to imagine vigorously, and to work hard and make choices to fulfill their visions; and when the time comes, to dream new dreams.” – Joaquin A. Newman




MBergman_Meet Me Here-sml

Meet Me Here, 2012, mixed media on wood panel. Photo © Sibila Savage.

MIRANDA BERGMAN A hand sculpted in clay is placed on a map over the location of the REACH Ashland Youth Center. The words “meet me here” in the artwork and the symbols reference the concept by which community is built through the meeting of our hearts. The heart-shaped mirror has the word “Leader” over it. As youth look into the mirror, they will see their own potential as leaders in their reflection.


“I was inspired by a young woman in one of my workshops who said, ‘I want a piece of art that is good to be near – almost like a friend. So you visit that favorite artwork, or meet someone there, and it feels like a home away from home.”– Miranda Bergman