Kids These Days – Visual Art & Youth Issue Youth Culture 2017.4 Youth culture didn’t always exist. It needed to be invented. And that didn’t happen until the 19th century when, as author Jon Savage describes in Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, the notion of “youth as a separate, stormy, rebellious stage of life began.” Mandatory schooling, more leisure time and the proliferation of consumer culture all helped to create this new social category defined by age. While there have been countless iterations of youth culture since — from flappers to punks to hipsters — these disparate movements all have one thing in common: the power to influence culture, lifestyle and social change. For this special issue on youth culture, we invited Edmonton youth to contribute their work to give us a glimpse into what so-called kids these days are up to. Accompanying each artwork, you’ll find advice each artist offers to the next generation of artists. Featured artists are from iHuman Youth Society, the University of Alberta, and AGA’s youth council, The Hive. iHuman Youth Society is a non-profit organization that engages Edmonton’s inner city youth through arts and crisis intervention programming to foster positive personal development and social change. The Hive is a group of dedicated teen volunteers between the ages of 13 and 17 committed to growing teen audiences at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Council members help to develop programming at the AGA for youth by youth. Spain Angeconeb iHuman, born 1999 Who is your favourite artist and why? Lauren Crazybull. Very great artist. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Practice! Matt Cardinal iHuman, born 1995 What do you do in your free time? Practice, practice, paint, write, live, earn my keep and love life. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Find yourself a mentor. But more importantly, Start alongside a partner, a best friend, who pushes you forward. Neo Chokpelleh iHuman, born 1996 Who is your favourite artist and why? My favourite artist would be an African singer from Ghana. He sings about the world. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Keep thinking big. Keep your actions big. Lee Isaiah Baron iHuman, born 2000 About her artwork: Etherial: This is a relatively simple watercolour self portrait of how I saw myself during a delusional ep- isode in which I was experiencing delusions of grandeur. Overstimulation: This is a painting I did a couple months ago but I still consider it an accurate visual description of what over- stimulation feels like. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Don’t be afraid to experiment! Use your art as a tool for self discovery. Tayyaba Khalid iHuman, born 2002 Who is your favourite artist and why? Farah Nosh, an Iraqi Canadian photographer has never ceased to inspire me with her astounding work. Her photography has the depth to bring deceiving beauty to the most rugged aspects of life. There is nothing I appreciate more than someone who goes the extra mile to explore different views. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Don’t be afraid to test the limits of your generation. There aren’t any rules written on your canvas that restrict what goes on and what stays off. Don’t be afraid to apply art to your life in whichever way you want. Kiona Ligtvoet University of Alberta student & SNAP’s 2017 summer student intern, born 1997 What’s your prediction for the future? What will be different in the world 20 years from now? In 20 years I would like to see art taught more freely and openly. More access to creative resources, and more people creating in powerful ways. Our artist run centres are fostering young voices and those voices will help build centres up. In that near of a future I think that we will see more fearless art in response to fearful ideas, hopefully curated and displayed in more accessible ways to and by artists. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? You don’t have to censor your work, but it’s important to prepare yourself for the reception it will receive and the kinds of questions you may be approached with. Talk about your pieces, write about them, and feel free to feel a sense of closeness between you and what you make(whatever that means for you). Be brave and open when you put your art into the world. Eric Maher HIVE About his photograph: [This is] a photo- graph I took recently where I live, and I thought it would be an accurate insight into my viewpoint as a kid living alone downtown. I like to do night photography, but I am not afforded the opportunity to do it often as it’s unsafe for me to take a camera with me outside at night. Despite this restriction, I was able to briefly go into the alley behind my apartment complex to capture a shot that I’m really happy with. I hope you enjoy it. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Draw and create what you want, not what you think anyone wants you to create. Never be afraid to create an idea because it won’t be “good enough”. Erik Smallboy iHuman, born 1996 What’s your prediction for the future? What will be different in the world 20 years from now? The future is unpredictable. What’s one piece of advice you would offer the next generation of artists? Don’t doubt yourself. Khusain Spiridonov iHuman, born 1992 Who is your favorite artist and why? Sandro Boticelli. Very Beautiful work. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? Stay in school. Emily Weston HIVE, born 2001 What are the current trends in art that interest you? Why? I’m really into art that explores a culture that I’m not very familiar with. I believe that art brings people closer together, and I think that this style of art really demonstrates that. I also really like geometric art because it inspires me to look at day-to- day things in another way. Words of advice to the next generation of artists? To not be afraid to make bad art. Also, instead of comparing your art to other artists’ works, see what you can learn from them instead.