Surviving Suicide. Rebuilding Lives.

Teen Art Exhibition

The Teen Art Exhibition Project was a HUGE SUCCESS.

Thank you to all of our partners, community supporters, and [most important!] all of the teens that participated! Here are some messages from event attendees on the project:

Event Schedule

Teen Art Preview Events | Click on links below to download individual event flyers

  • 3/15: 2:30 – 4:00pm at Mike’s Cafe at 2680 Middlefield Road
  • 3/16: 5:00 – 7:00pm at Philz Coffee at 101 Forest Avenue
  • 3/17: 12:00 – 2:00pm at Vino Locale at 431 Kipling Street
  • 3/17: 4:00 – 6:00pm at Philz Coffee at 3191 Middlefield Road
  • 3/18: 3:00 – 5:00pm at Bon Vivant at 535 Bryant Street

Preview Events will include live music by teen musicians and messages by special guests

Grand Opening Ceremony

  • 3/23: 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Palo Alto’s City Hall at 250 Hamilton Avenue

Yiaway Yeh, the Mayor of Palo Alto, will give the keynote address on youth empowerment

Click here to download the Teen Art Exhibition poster with full event schedule.


Event Press Coverage

Celebrate! This event was the feature story in the Palo Alto Weekly on March 16th, 2012. Read the article here.


Sick Rap + Beats. Check it out.

R.E.N. + DaShaman @ Teen Art Exhibition Event. Philz — Friday 3/16/12


Event Promo Video

Generously created by our friend Brad at the Media Center. Thank you Brad!!


Press Release | 3.8.2012

Framing Teens’ Experiences:

Local Businesses Host Teen Art Exhibitions + Support Our Teens’ Artistic Expression

Break Through the Static (“Static”) and the Palo Alto Youth Collaborative (“Youth Collaborative”) will host a series of unique art exhibitions featuring nearly eighty pieces of powerful and revealing art created by students at Gunn High School, with Static and other youth-supporting organizations. Static is an organization that supports and empowers teens impacted by suicide through creative arts and other healthy outlets. The six exhibition events will take place Thursday March 15th through Friday March 23rd. Teen musicians, poets, and visual artists will participate in the receptions across Palo Alto, performing or showcasing art that is rooted in their own “life-shaping experiences”. Palo Alto Mayor Yiaway Yeh will give the keynote address at the Grand Opening Ceremony.

The Teen Art Exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Youth Collaborative, Static, Gunn High School Visual Art Department, Gunn art students, and five Palo Alto small businesses. Since September 2011, Gunn art teacher and Drawing and Painting Program instructor Deanna Messinger and Static Founder and CEO Jade Chamness have engaged eighty high school students in a curriculum to create “self-portraits rooted in their life-shaping experiences”. The art creation process took place in Messinger’s art classes and in Static’s Art Retreats open to teens across the Peninsula.

This project was inspired by conversations between teens and adults at the City of Palo Alto’s first Youth Forum in 2010. There, teens expressed their desire for stronger relationships with local businesses and more opportunities for teens to gather, where they might also create and perform music and other art forms.

Former arts administrator, marketing professional and co-curator of the Teen Art Exhibitions, Carolyn Digovich said, “I joined the Youth Collaborative at that very meeting and began planning for a way to create safe spaces for teens’ artistic expression and combine that with local business owners who were interested in reaching out to support teens – especially to showcase their art.”  Deanna Messinger remarked, “The painting of a non-traditional self-portrait seemed like a good way for the Drawing and Painting students to express what it is like for them to be who they are in Palo Alto”. Jade Chamness joined this project because it is “all about collaboration and teens need more opportunities to express themselves.”

According to Digovich, “The artwork is in the form of self-portraits, and reflects teens’ tremendous resilience. Some pieces are hauntingly beautiful; others humbly uplifting; others graphically honest – all mesmerizing.”

Chamness, Digovich and Messinger encourage teens, adults and business owners to celebrate the resilience of teens in our community, engage with their powerful art and narratives, listen to local teen musicians, and support the businesses who support our teens.