Esmeralda, Noelani, and Wilkely are 11th grade members of our Edgies Teen Center and hope the future has some girl power in store. The three impassioned young ladies were part of a team of nine dedicated students who designed a beautiful art piece for the Young Voices Through Art: Our Visions of 2050 exhibition. The exhibition asked students at Educational Alliance’s nine Boys and Girls Clubhouses of America site’s (including Manny Cantor Center’s own Edgies Teen Center) to envision what 2050 would look like and create artworks of their hopes and dreams for the future.
The Edgies painting titled, “Pieces of Our Future: Better Together” is comprised of nine puzzle-piece looking sections each with related messages. At the center is a hyper-realistic heart with a vote sticker attached to it and with words including encourage, strength, and respect written around it. “We want people to follow their hearts when they vote,” Noelani said. “The words all around it are things kids and people should care about,” she added.
When asked about the inspiration behind their puzzle-piece masterpiece, the girls agree that their thoughts were about hoping for a future of equality and to think of a world where people saw things through a woman’s eyes, a world where women would not feel undervalued or underappreciated. “We wanted to say that women are more than just pretty faces,” Noelani said. That’s why the eye, painted towards the bottom of the piece on a red background is Wilkely’s favorite part of their painting, as it is the window to everything for her, and a powerful symbol.
Esmeralda, on the other hand, loves the unconventional and ominous stamp of a tree to the left of the heart, with the words “Rebirth,” and “Save the earth, save our people,” written around it. For Esmeralda, the tree is a symbol of growth and rebirth. She said it represented her hopes for the future clearly: “I’d like to see less destruction,” she said. “When you look down on the street there is so much trash and pollution, I want to see a world where people are nice to each other and where we take care of the earth,” she added.
Their last wish for 2050? A resounding word- equality.