“Life Stages” is a collaborative project organized by Youth Care Arts. It is an installation consisting of two quarter-size stages, conceptualized and crafted by various youth-in-custody throughout the state of Utah, and represents personal interpretations of their life experiences. Upon the two stages, “The Forest” and “The Sea”, are various spirit dolls, leaves, bark, water, a boat, life preservers, as well as written responses from participants to specific therapeutic prompts. While moving physically around the two stages, viewers are encouraged to question possible meanings implied by proximity: whether they stand in front of or behind the stage, who is doing the viewing, and does the role of audience and subject change? Like the youth in the scenes, viewers must individually decide upon which stage and where the onus is placed.
YOUTH CARE ARTS
Youth Care Arts is a diverse group of artists, educators, and therapists, organized to provide social practice art projects as an experiential record and bridge between “youth-in-care” and Utah communities. They facilitate interactive community art projects in detention centers, rehabilitation centers, and group homes for youth typically in the state’s custody and recipients of public education. Youth Care Arts, directed by artist Abe Kimball, partners with the Utah State Office of Education (Youth-in-Custody), Spy Hop Productions, the Utah Department of Human Services, and the Annual Promising Youth Conference of Agencies and Organizations.