By Rich Tenorio
This article was published in the Malden Observer on June 22, 2009
Malden - The Youth A.C.T. members have decided to postpone the Urban Art Competition to Saturday, July 11, with a rain date of Saturday, July 18th.
Returning for its second straight year, the Urban Art Competition will provide young artists with a chance to showcase their skills at Lincoln Commons.
The meaning of the event, said Mai Du, one of the organizers, is that “we recognize the good things for youth and create opportunities for young people to positively engage in it.”
Toward that end, young artists will compete in a juried contest by creating works on boards over the course of the day. The judges include members of the Malden artistic community, and community groups from the city and beyond have volunteered to provide supplies and entertainment.
“People are willing to come together to give their time, energy, money and talent to make things work,” said Du, who is from Malden and a graduate of Malden High School. Her organization, Youth ACT (Activism, Coalition, Trust), is sponsoring the event, with help from many other sources.
“I think we had good success last year,” Du said. “Thanks to our support, those who came felt it was a true community event with positive energy. Families and young people came out. When I asked people (for support this year), everyone said yes. They got on board.”
Supporters this year include Healthy Malden, the First Parish of Malden, Universalist, the YWCA, Asian Spectrum, Friends of Oak Grove, and Malden Access Television. The American Red Cross is also a co-sponsor.
The Friends of Oak Grove have donated a PA system for the day, as well as 40 boards for the artists to use.
“Last year, people called other people,” Du said. “We hope all 40 boards will be taken. We encourage artists to bring their art supplies, but we’ll prepare them if they don’t have it.”
Those who will judge the artwork include artist Sand T, whose work is well known in Malden, muralist James Fox, and representatives of Malden High School and the Malden Cultural Council. Du will also select a youth representative to serve as a judge.
Despite so much community representation, Du said that costs have been kept down.
“It’s a very low-cost event with a high social value,” she said, noting that the entertainment will be done on a volunteer basis and that co-sponsors have been asked to bring food; youth registrants will also bring food as a potluck.
Asked whether the economic turmoil has affected support, Du said, “Yes and no. The fact is, I don’t have time to write a grant and ask for money. Everyone is kind of donating. Everyone got on the bandwagon.”
The 2009 Urban Art Competition will take place on Saturday, July 11, 1-5 p.m., at Lincoln Commons, Cross and Bryant streets. The cost to register is $8.