During 2007 ArtLab interns concentrated on theater arts while also working with artists in residency at PlatteForum. Artist, teacher and founder/director of Labyrinth Arts Academy, Jose Mercado, worked with the ArtLab team to begin developing their own theater production. The students met with a variety of artists in the process of creating, writing and producing an original play focusing on youth homelessness. Craig Volk, award-winning playwright, guided the students in writing the screenplay. Created from a summer of improvisation, research, interviews and rehearsals,Throwaway/Runaway is a collage of monologues and scenes written by ArtLab. Performed by the youth that created the stories, Throwaway/Runaway examines the lives of today’s youth who have run away from home or have been forced out of a dysfunctional home. The substitutes youth find for the loss of family and the tragedies that often result in the search for those substitutes are explored. The play had its first staged reading in November at the Webb Atrium, with emcee Mayor Hickenlooper.
In addition to working on Throwaway/Runaway ArtLab interns worked New York artist Rory Golden and Italian artist Sandro del Rosario. Rory worked intensively with ArtLab youth, teaching them about his process and techniques as a painter and book artist. While the students worked incorporating these ideas into their own work, Golden produced large mixed media portraits of the students. In these paintings, layers of roofing tar, house paint and oil paint are scraped, drawn and written into. These techniques and materials evoke the internal process of excavating and exploring memory, while addressing important social issues through portraiture. The exhibition features work by Golden and ArtLab students.
Sandro del Rosario worked with youth from African Community Center and ArtLab interns to create an installation of visual and motion art. He introduced ArtLab youth to the the ideas of early 20th-century Italian Futurists, and their visual push towards the representation of movement, exploring film, writing and art representing that movement. Using a downtown Denver site as subject matter, Sandro challenged the youth to create an installation of visual artwork, photography and video to capture the mix of urban growth and natural landscape preservation that Denver is courageously undertaking.