​I AM HOME: Youth art inspired by reflections on the Black Church

I AM HOME is a creative project in honor of Black History Month, to engage participants in understanding how miserable, horrible situations can bring about new expressions of human dignity in the world of art, education, community, and self realization.

The influence of the Black Church is the inspiration for this community presentation. By looking at historical pictures of monumental figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, listening to Gospel hymns, reading quotations from leaders and poets, the public is invited to create their own interpretation of "home", where they find peace amidst storms of despair no matter how great or small they may seem.

We are still accepting submissions! See below for how to submit.

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A Call for Submissions:

We are seeking artwork from middle & high school students for this virtual exhibit. The call for art is open to all, but artwork by youth ages 11-17 will be prioritized for this exhibit. 

Submissions may include: paintings, collage, photography, poetry, and/or sketches.

  • Physical submissions can be dropped off at the Jones Library Kids Room Desk. 
  • Digital submissions can be emailed to teens@joneslibrary.org

Words & Music for Inspiration:

Included below are some songs, videos, words, and images to look at and ponder. Consider the following questions as you're listening, watching, and reading:

  • What do you think the artist was feeling? What emotions are captured in the piece?
  • Does this piece bring to mind any of your own life events or memories?
  • What moves you the most about these works of art?
  • What does freedom mean to you?
  • What does home mean to you?




Total Praise by Richard Smallwood 
Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills,
Knowing my help is coming from You.
Your peace You give me in time of the storm.

You are the source of my strength;
You are the strength of my life;
I lift my hands in total praise to You.

Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen.

What is the black church? by Lauren Mills
What is the black church, black thought, what is the black experience living outside oneself, living for a higher calling, being called to behold a creative spirit when there is no space outside oneself to truly be restful truly be at home, at peace. Fighting and flesh against invisible forces, things that leave the lips dry and the throat parched
Unions reunions and no unions at all but still loved
Blackness in the fullest of fullness still black in the smallest of smallness
Everstanding, expanding tireless a everlasting source
Inner beauty inner strength 


Wade in the water