Trent University Oshawa hosted the “h’Art of the City” art show at the Oshawa Thornton Road Campus in cooperation with community organization, The Refuge Youth Outreach. The main goal of the event was to draw attention to the plight of at-risk youth with art created around the theme of “creating a community.”
When the Refuge first contacted Trent regarding the event, acting principal Ken Field jumped on the opportunity to “give back to the community.” He elaborated that “the University depends on community support and therefore we need to give something back by supporting events like “h’Art of the City.” He emphasized the University’s role in educating the community and this was a clear way to help educate the community on homelessness and poverty.
The Refuge placed a large emphasis on education during “h’Art of the City.” Displays recreated the living conditions many of their youth lived through, with a short description of why and for how long. One such display was a shed in which two youths were resting.
With over three hundred guests passing through the doors, The Refuge was able to raise much needed awareness towards the disenfranchised youth in the Durham Region. One Refuge client gave a stirring presentation, in which he shared some of the hardships he’s faced and how The Refuge has helped him. Other Refuge Youth were in attendance to show their support and promote some of their own pieces of art created through the Kaleidoscope art program, one of the many services available in addition to wholesome meals, clean clothing and access to shower and laundry facilities.
Trent students were enthusiastic about how they benefitted from the opportunity to engage in this important social issue in the Durham region. Local artisans contributed beautiful pieces of artwork to the event, with pieces also created by volunteers, local students and youth from The Refuge. All proceeds went to The Refuge and Mr. Field walked away with a fantastic zebra piece created by five-year-old Aurora.