BOOM Concepts calls on young artists to imagine Pittsburgh's future with new art project and show | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

BOOM Concepts calls on young artists to imagine Pittsburgh's future with new art project and show

click to enlarge Darrell "DS" Kinsel (right) of BOOM Concepts addresses a group of kids. - PHOTO: BOOM CONCEPTS
Photo: BOOM Concepts
Darrell "DS" Kinsel (right) of BOOM Concepts addresses a group of kids.
BOOM Concepts wants to give a platform to local young artists with an upcoming exhibition sponsored by the City of Pittsburgh.

The gallery and community arts organization is calling on kids and teens from grades pre-K-12 to submit to Our Future!, a themed show that encourages young artists to create work that, as a press release puts it, focuses on “what they want to see for their own future and the future of Pittsburgh.” Submissions will go on display at the Garfield-based BOOM Concepts space during the April Unblurred gallery crawl and then at the annual Art All Night event.

Submitted works must be made by youth living in the city of Pittsburgh, be two-dimensional, and be no larger than 24-by-36 inches.


“This project is important because it may help young artists find their voices within their creations and may help others to learn more about who they are and what they want to become,” says BOOM Concepts co-owner Thomas Agnew, who runs the space along with artist DS Kinsel. “We want to always present opportunities for the youth to express themselves and we have seen positive results in the youth we have connected to in the past by continuing to utilize art in their lives as they’ve gotten older.”

Submissions are open to schools and community groups, and Agnew adds that they have already reached to a variety of organizations, including Youth Places, Imani Christian Academy, Assemble, Braddock Youth Project, and Dreams of Hope.

In addition, BOOM Concepts has launched an ioby fundraising campaign to help buy art supplies for participants. It will also support free events at the BOOM Concepts space during which Agnew says kids and teens can work on their art and participate in activities led by Kinsel, Christa Drew, and the A+ Schools program, TeenBloc.

Agnew believes projects like Our Future! gives young artists confidence and shows them the potential of their talents.


“It serves as an inspiration that the youth can build a career within the arts at an early age,” says Agnew. “Some of us grew up without inspirational figures who worked as artists. Also growing up people could barely fathom making a living off of our creativity but now more than ever we see young and seasoned artists with exhibitions, pop-up galleries, becoming teaching artists, doing programming for organizations, and so much more. We think it will lift their spirits to see people appreciating their creations and we hope others see how important art is to many communities.”

Entries are due by March 15, 2020. Click here to access the submission form (must be filled out by an adult). 

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