Turning Anger into Gold

Lead artist: Jared Wood
With artist assistant:  Becky Miller
With E3 West Youth and Place to Call Home alumni

In this installation in a renovated shipping container, artist Jared Wood uses origami paper cranes to visualize the vast number of youths in Philadelphia each year that face housing insecurity. Wood worked with many people to help fold the thousands of cranes that became part of the project. Using students to teach folding skills at public events this summer, the project not only allowed the community to participate in the fabrication of the work (like a paint day) but also presented a direct leadership opportunity for our students which inverts the more common power dynamic between youth and adults.

Turning Anger into Gold serves as a visual to help viewers understand the magnitude of this issue and represents the financial, emotional, and structural barriers young people face in finding a safe home. As a youth participant pointed out, cranes are a particularly good metaphor for this population because–like youth dealing with housing insecurity–cranes aren’t stuck in a situation, but can fly away and find themselves a better life.

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