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Aldrich Teen Fellows Find Inspiration from Artist Hangama Amiri

This Spring, the Aldrich Teen Fellows worked with exhibiting artist Hangama Amiri, whose exhibition A Homage to Home was on view February 5 to June 11, 2023, on a project that allowed the Fellows to share their reflections on the themes found in Amiri's exhibition with the wider Aldrich community. After spending several weeks exploring their personal ideas of what "home" means to them, the Fellows decided to manifest their findings through an installation in the Museum's Sculpture Garden.

The Aldrich Teen Fellows worked with exhibiting artist Hangama Amiri on a project focused on her question of “what is home?” After drawing inspiration from Hangama Amiri’s exhibition, A Homage to Home, and collaborating extensively as a group, the Fellows unified their individual interpretations of Hangama’s question into an installation.

The Fellows’ answers varied depending on how they view and interact with the world. Their ideas ranged from themes of family to discovering their own identity. Together, they realized that home could be a physical space with four walls or it could be intangible, found in connections people share with one another. Every home has a door to welcome its visitors, and this one acts as a gateway engraved with the Fellows’ memories and dreams.

This installation was on view in the Museum's Sculpture Garden June 2023.

Click the below images to see the Teen Fellows' completed installation.

Reflections From The Aldrich Teen Fellows

James Adams

During this project, we each took significantly different approaches to respond to the question, “What is home to you?” When discussing this question as a group we reasoned that home is a fragmented thing. This idea resonated with me, and I believe home is more than simply just the place we live; to me, I think home can come in the shape of a person, place, or item that creates an atmosphere of safety or comfort. To continue with this fragmented theme of home in my portion of the door, I decided to use soccer patches to demonstrate the many pieces of my idea of home. I found the patches to be the perfect vessel for my artwork and a good way to show what I find important, as soccer is a very significant part of my life. I enjoy both watching and playing it at my school and in my free time. Inside many of the patches, I put small illustrations of places or things that remind me of home. I enjoyed this project and thought it was a great opportunity for the other Teen Fellows and me to reflect and expand on the idea of what home is.

Sabine Chai

We tend to confine ourselves to the house-with-four-walls definition of a “home,”but for me, home is more of a fluid concept. The way I personally addressed Hangama Amiri’s question was to siphon the definition of “home” down to a space with four walls, a bedroom, and kitchen–but what exactly makes “home” a place? And is it limited to one place? My summers are typically spent in the Philippines, where my family comes from. I try to demonstrate this through the illustrated jeepney in my portion of the door. My home is that country; in that country is the house we live in, and in that house lives my family, full of people who laugh, travel, and grow plants together. These activities, people, and objects are what “home” means to me.

Florence Mercurio

There are times when I look up at the sky with its radiant lights and think to myself: I can’t imagine getting home, looking up, and not being able to see the stars. The stars keep me grounded.

And so, you reach your hands up, attempting to gently brush the sky and its radiant lights.
Reaching up to embrace the stars gives you a chance to reflect on the happenings of your day.
It gives you and I chance to stop
And think
Because there are times where pauses in our life are a rarity.
Home allows us to take a second
And breathe

Donnelly Rodgers

I was born and raised in Texas. After moving across the country, some of my most nostalgic memories now include the vivid scenes from my hometown, such as the bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush flowers that blanket the broad landscape and the vibrant sunsets which fill the skies. A staple of Texas scenery additionally includes the Longhorn Cattle which dot fields across the entire state.

Zoe Schaffel

the mirror represents home by showing no matter how your concept of home evolves or changes, the only consistent part is you. the spikes represent the boundaries i have before letting people into my ‘home’. The mirror is warped and cracked to signify that despite the fact that my physical representation of home is myself, i am far from perfect. that i’ve been warped and changed by events in my life, just as everyone else has.

Amelia Schiffer

Portuguese artisanal-made goods are one of the many aspects of my culture that remind me of home. Through my crocheting work, I was reminded of the bond I share with my grandmother, since she taught me her techniques. The detailing in my piece carries sentimental value to me because it reminds me of the traditional interior decor found in Portugal. I enjoyed connecting on a more intimate level with the practice while also adding my own touch to the piece, which was informed by my own love of painting.

Top image: Photo: Jinette Jimenez