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Center for Youth Development Unveils Sculpture Inspired by Youth

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On Tuesday, October 21, Griffis Sculpture Park and Gateway-Longview unveiled a beautiful, 8.5 foot sculpture inspired by youth at Gateway-Longview’s Center for Youth Development at 296 Monroe Street in Buffalo.

For the past year, youth from Gateway’s Center for Youth Development have been working on the sculpture project, which was a collaboration with Griffis Sculpture Park and the Ashford Hollow Foundation’s Arts in Education program. The project began with Gateway youth creating metal sculptures of their names, and then designing more personal sculptures that represented something important in their lives. Those personal sculptures were the inspiration for the unique, 8.5 foot sculpture that is now on permanent display at the Monroe Street facility.

In attendance at the unveiling ceremony were representatives from the Office of Child & Family Services, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center, elected and county officials, the media, Gateway-Longview youth and staff, and the Ashford Hollow Foundation.

Two of the youth that worked on the project, AD and Printice, unveiled the sculpture and explained its symbolic meaning:
• The key represents independence and responsibility.
• The heart represents love.
• The music note represents the arts.
• The books represent education.

These symbols are at the bottom of the sculpture because they represent the fundamentals that young adults gain from their experience at the Center for Youth Development, which will help guide them into successful adulthood. Finally, the three arrows at the top represent the different paths to success.

For photos from the event, visit our Facebook page here.

The sculpture project is part of the Ashford Hollow Foundation’s Arts in Education program, which gives youth the opportunity to work hands-on with metal art and sculpture, including metal pouring, plasma cutting, and welding. The program uses the unique experience in metal arts as a catalyst to teach creative problem solving, leadership skills, and community awareness.

About the Ashford Hollow Foundation:
The mission of the Ashford Hollow Foundation is to promote the visual and performing arts as well as construct a dynamic relationship between the arts and education in Western New York to better its young people and the greater community.

About the Center for Youth Development:
Gateway-Longview’s Center for Youth Development is a dynamic collaboration between Gateway-Longview and the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center. The Center provides a home for teens and young adults ages 17-21 and other services to help young adults achieve self-sufficiency and make the transition from a residential program or foster care to living on their own. To learn more about the Center, visit their website here.