Cochise County JDC participates in Emanuel Project Mural | Events
Story originally submitted by the ‘Emanuel Project’:
The Cochise County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) in Sierra Vista, AZ is participating in a nationwide arts program called the ‘Emanuel Project’. The motivational arts program offers a compelling mural project to provide youth in detention a unique hands-on opportunity to work with the nationally renowned painter, sculptor and muralist Emanuel Martinez, as he paints a 144-foot mural specially designed to enhance the Cochise County JDC.
“This program makes a powerful impact to improve the lives of detained youth like those at Cochise County JDC by helping students strengthen their communication skills, build self-esteem and bolster academic performance through a mural process,” said Emanuel Project Program Founder Louisa Craft Jornayvaz. Known for her work as an advocate for at-risk youth, Jornayvaz says the Emanuel mural project is supported with art curriculum and art therapy programs, as well as research to help document the program’s impact among committed youth.
“This is a tremendous gift for the youth here at our facility,” said Pat Schmitt, Division Director at the Cochise County JDC. “It’s not only a great opportunity for our students to learn about the mural process, but even more, it’s an honor for our students to work with Emanuel Martinez who is a great mentor and accomplished artist,” he added.
Artist Emanuel Martinez began his own artistic career at age thirteen as a youth-at-risk at the facility for juvenile offenders where he painted his first mural. Two years later, after being detianed three times and winning statewide art competitions, Martinez established his reputation as an exceptionally talented artist.
With help from artist Bill Longley, Emanuel re-enrolled and graduated from school, winning two art scholarships. By age twenty-two, Emanuel had worked with the most significant muralist in the world, David A. Siqueros, completing three art works now part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Youth at Cochise County JDC began working side by side with Emanuel Martinez on Oct. 7 on a 9 x 16 foot mural titled “You Can (Se Puede).” The mural depicts the importance of education and the many choices young people will encounter during their lives.
As muralist, painter and sculptor, Emanuel occupies outstanding status among national and internationally known artists. Since establishing a studio in 1968, Martinez has received national acclaim as a forerunner of the contemporary mural movement in the U.S. He has received prestigious awards for his design capabilities and for engaging young people in art projects requiring high standards of workmanship.
Emanuel’s “You Can (Se Puede)” mural will be unveiled at Cochise County JDC on October 16 at 2 p.m. at 100 Colonia Day Salud, Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635.
“Delcy Scull, our director of juvenile court services, and I are thrilled to be part of the Emanuel Project and grateful to the supporters of this innovative program,” said Schmitt. “It incorporates art into our education curriculum to reach youth who may not respond to traditional teaching methods. It helps engage them in academics and facilitates success in the classroom. Many of our youth have previously benefitted from this mural program,” he added.
The Emanuel Project will continue at the facility through October with the Emanuel Project Curriculum Director Jeanne Wines-Reed. Ms. Reed will provide training to faculty and staff at the Cochise County JDC to help them incorporate art into the daily curriculum.
Since the Emanuel Project began in January 2011, thirty-one murals have been completed in twenty juvenile detention centers in California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas. A total of 21,079 square feet of murals have been painted in total.
The Cochise County JDC was built in 2001 and houses both male and females. The facility provides foundation and exploratory programs that challenge and enhance the youth for assimilation back into the community while keeping our communities safe.
For information on how to participate in the Emanuel Project, contact Dr. James “Randy” Minnick, head of program development, at 229-938-7362 or email@example.com.
The above drawing is - “YOU CAN” (SE PUEDE) a conceptual design for the mural at the Cochise County JDC in Sierra Vista AZ. The dominant figure with his arms outstretched is a graduate whose gown, hat and face will be a transparent spirit in the universe. The gown will be a very dark blue with stars on the lower half blending up to a lighter blue in the face and hat. This figurative sky represents the open feeling of the unlimited possibilities of education and the individual’s imagination to free himself from ignorance and hopelessness. This uplifting graduate figure also supports a stairway of the student’s progression on the left ascending the steps of getting an education and becoming successful. On the right, descending the stairs is a variety of men that symbolize a few of the many positive occupational choices that the student can make in their lives. From the top down, there is a firefighter, musician, basketball player and a construction manager. The sky behind the pyramid and figures will be a colorful dawn sky to represent a new beginning and will also compliment the dark universe. The most outstanding positive message in this composition is “YOU CAN”, using the students head as the “O” in YOU. This affirmation is also in Spanish to be inclusive of the facility’s demographics. The letters will be colorful and a perpetual reminder to the student that, if they are willing, they “CAN” accomplish their goals.