October 4th @ 5pm at The Jones Library in Amherst, MA
Get Up Get Down programming is happening now! Join us!
The bench crafted by the youth of Get Up Get Down has been installed in front of The Jones Library. Please join us for the ribbon cutting ceremony that will take place THIS THURSDAY during the Amherst Art Walk.
Youth in the program worked very hard through variety of steps to complete the vision that started as a brainstorm last winter. They sketched and doodled and compared ideas; they looked at other public seating and discussed the benefits and detriments. Youth noticed a general lack of interaction between people in public spaces and began to consider how they could encourage it, or at least play with the tensions in their piece. The wanted to make a bench where people could face each other more easily and interact if they chose.
Youth created a cardboard model, and when a general plan was agreed upon, they set to work. Through the generosity of staff at the Hampshire College Design Center, and with the assistance of program coordinator and interns, youth began bending large square pipes for the frame, plasma cutting the backrest, torching pieces to the bend and curving them, and welding the sections together. Meanwhile, youth from another YAC program, GirlsEyeView, were busy taking and printing photos in the darkroom to make the bench come to life. The wooden seats that fit into the frame are covered with black ad white photo collages depicting youth, Amherst and other things that passed by the many lenses. Finally, the bench had to be coated with lacquer, wax and epoxy to protect the surfaces.
All together, the bench is truly a testament to the powerful work of mind, heart and hand that our youth are capable of. They hope that this bench will be a prominent feature in the Amherst landscape for years to come and cause viewers to pause and think each time they see it, as well as to entice those with a book and a coffee to sit and enjoy.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will feature several guest speakers: Sharon Sharry, Director of the Jones Library, Rachel Hankinson from the Amherst Public Arts Commission, and several youth artists and staff from Youth Action Coalition.