Youth Spirit Artworks leaders are engaged in empowering and transformative ways of thinking and art-making. They create original art pieces on their own and in collaboration with their peers and staff. Leaders utilize their artistic abilities and entrepreneurial skills to dream up and assist with community engaged public works of art. Most projects are entirely youth run!
I’m a Sales Leader
at YSA. I joined YSA in the summer of 2016. For the past two years I have learned about the struggles homelessness creates, and have been working diligently to confront the root of the problem: lack of affordable housing. I’ve empathized with many of the people I’ve met during my time here. The biggest challenge in my life has been hopping back on the horse after couch hopping, and patiently re-acclimating myself to a calm and relaxing life that I enjoy, as I choose. Working as a team every day in a positive space makes my day happier and helps me feel connected to something real. YSA is a space that melds worlds together through community, revolution and strength. Honesty has helped me grow as a person and in my leadership position. It has helped me own up to my short comings while also reporting my successes. I try my best to be a good friend that ensures my peers feel their best when they’re around me. I’m supportive of their strengths so that they can shine, and push them forward to help them grow from their weaknesses.
It was an honor giving an acceptance speech on the organization’s behalf for a diploma that declared April 25th officially “YSA Day” in the City of Berkeley. My favorite art piece is my painting “You’re Your Universe”. It’s the only canvas I painted before I was promoted to Community Outreach & Organizing Leader. I’m looking forward to giving back to my community. I want to go to college to obtain a PhD in Law to become a Defense Attorney, in order to prevent Black and Latino citizens from being the majority in the prison industrial complex.
I am the Social MeanCommunications Leader
at YSA. I grew up in Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. I currently live in Berkeley. I’m working towards earning an Associates Degree in Animation and Game Design from Berkeley City College, gaining more social media management/ coordination experience and establishing a more notorious video game career as a streamer and competitive gamer. Since I’ve been at YSA in August of 2015, I’ve worked as an Aspirant Artist, Social Media Leader, Board Member, and Assistant Project Manager. There are multiple skills and knowledge I’ve learned here such as getting more comfortable with public speaking, how to be a social media coordinator, getting familiar with different genders and sexualities, as well as seeing the positive influence that YSA has upon the Berkeley and the Bay Area community. I’ve never been an artist necessarily, but art has helped my life by showing me to appreciate the creativity and originality of people’s artwork, to have a more in-depth conversation with people, and has presented me with opportunities to make money.
I am a self-taught audio and visual artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. My current position at YSA is Sales Leader
. I like to focus my energy on either political or otherwise thought-provoking projects. You can often find a poem on the back of my canvasses or at least an easter egg relating to the world at the time I made the painting. I have a website featuring on-going and upcoming projects that is currently under construction.
I have been at YSA for two years. My current position is YSA Apprentice Leader
. YSA is the place where I can be me and express myself. Many people have helped me in my life. The happiest moment in my life was when I made new friends at YSA. My favorite art piece is my painting of a geisha. My dream is to become an animator like Hayao Miyazaki. The biggest challenge that I have now is how to be a good Apprentice Leader.
I am Sales Leader
at YSA. I am a bay area raised Illustrator, painter and muralist. Mixing regional flora and forms with invented mythologies, my art is inspired by the wilderness and hidden or forgotten places. I came to YSA to participate and engage with my wider community, and develop new skills to further his practice. I am currently working on expanding our capacity for screen-printing production.
I am a Sales and Street Spirit Leader
at YSA. I was raised in Berkeley with my mother and my two younger brothers. I have been working at YSA on and off, for about four years. Most of the time I was an aspirant and now I’m a Sales and Gallery leader. Working at YSA has helped me learn new skills, make new friends and help with my finances. One of my life goals is to become a great musician, having my own concerts and teaching music lessons. My second biggest life goal is to help make my mom’s charity grow and flourish in all corners of the world. If you’d like to see more of my personal art please go to www.intigonzalez.com
I have been going to YSA for five years now. My current position is Peer Support Leader
. My hobbies are playing with my American girl dolls, rainbow loom, writing my book, and listening to new books from different authors. My biggest challenge currently is to be independent in my life and live on my own. For me, YSA is a place to do art and learn about different jobs every Friday. I use art to process my emotions and feelings. It has helped me express how I am feeling. My family and supervisors at YSA help me a lot, they have truly given me a place of community. My favorite art piece is a painting inspired by a Dinky the Duck Beanie Baby I have from my childhood. I still collect them. I enjoy My dream is to be a writer and have my books sold worldwide.
I was raised in Berkeley with my mother and my two younger brothers. I have been working at YSA on and off, for about four years. Most of the time I was an aspirant and now I’m a Sales and Gallery leader. Working at YSA has helped me learn new skills, make new friends and help with my finances. One of my life goals is to become a great musician, having my own concerts and teaching music lessons. My second biggest life goal is to help make my mom’s charity grow and flourish in all corners of the world. If you’d like to see more of my personal art please go to www.intigonzalez.com
I am currently a Community Organizing / Tiny House Village Leader
at YSA My family and I grew up in Berkeley. My family has always moved around a lot due to the increasing amount for rent and the shortage of places to live in the bay. YSA has been a welcoming and loving space that has allowed me the opportunity to thrive. A personal goal I have is just the usual: finishing up with school and maintaining an independent life. I currently stay with my friend’s family, so I’m working towards financial stability so I can eventually move out into my own space.
Jason Powell Smith
I have been at YSA for four and a half years. My current position is Studio Apprentice Leader
. I grew up in Berkeley. I have been at YSA for 5 years. YSA is my family and allowed me to have a community. They have helped me a lot and encouraged me to be more responsible in my role here at YSA. I am looking for a new job to plan my next steps and YSA is helping me prepare myself for new possibilities in the area of my developing interests. My favorite type of art is painting. My favorite art piece is the tiny house that I made. Saving money is the biggest challenge for me now, but I am using this place to produce new projects and learn to support myself. I’m proud of being independent. The time I use to make art also allows me to think, and understand my world around me. I would like to find a job in the future in the area of my developing interests.