Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Artist explores adolescent trauma

Posted on April 14, 2015 in Arts & Culture
By Krysteana Scribner

Artist Traci Molloy works on her project with participating students
Erin Bartoletti
Artist Traci Molloy works on her project with participating students

Brooklyn-based artist Traci Molloy identifies as an education activist, creating art that tackles difficult topics of adolescent violence, suicide and loss in a variety of media. A reception and discussion will be held on April 15, where people can learn about her project and ask any questions they may have.

In Gorham, Molloy currently teaches classes and creates art with students. She also works in Portland, collaborating with The Center for Grieving Children. Where she works with refugee and displaced adolescents from Sudan, Iraq, and Somalia who have experienced trauma.

Her more recent work will be discussed on Wednesday’s event, a collaborative project titled “I Am, I Will, I’m Afraid” that shows what it is like to be a young displaced adolescent in the Portland community.

Molloy photographed 17 participants each in the same location. She was able to create an art piece that morphed all the photos together to create one individual. Text written at the top of the banner is written by the participants. They write on the topic of, “I am, I will, I’m afraid” and these words hover over the painted portrait. The individual depicted in this portrait is not real, but rather a symbolic representation of the misplaced individual in the community.

“My recent project was a collaborative success because of the help of  middle school youth from the Portland community,” said Molloy. “USM has given me the privilege to work a partnership with the Center for Grieving Children Multicultural Center.”

USM media studies students have been filming a documentary over the project that will be shown at the event this Wednesday. The purpose of this short educational film it to show the process that went into the collaborative work of students and Molloy.

Carolyn Eyler, director of Exhibitions and Programs explained that the event will allow students to obtain a better insight into Molloys work, which explores the notions of identity, race politics, class politics, gender and the aftermath of trauma and violence.

Molloy explained that there is a lot of excitement around this work because it’s a project that has engaged the community.         She believes this event will not only serve as an educational outlet to people but as a way for people to come together. She hopes to show individuals just how important a role collaboration played in the success of this project.

“The teamwork that goes into this project is like a massive machine with lots of moving parts,” said Molloy. “You need all the parts to be working to get a successful outcome – and I know that’s what we did here.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the discussion and reception on Wednesday in the area gallery of Woodbury campus and the event will be free and open to the public. The reception will be at 4:00 p.m. and Molloy will speak at 5:00 p.m. USM’s President Flanagan is scheduled to speak along with Caroline Eyler and a variety of other individuals who participated in making this project a reality.

“If students are interested in hands-on experiences, then this is something they should attend. I collaborated with students and taught at USM,” said Molloy. “This project wouldn’t have worked without their help. In order to make this project a reality, I needed the help.”

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