Above: Youth artists, artist mentors and Drake University law students talk about their rights during a #KNOWJUSTICE workshop at ArtForce Iowa

Left: "Forbidden Planet" by Vincent, a 12 year old middle school who felt exiled and forgotten by his school and the court system. You can see that he feels sad, distant and disconnected from Earth. Notice the blue arrows.




"Take Me Home" was painted by a youth who lived in a series of shelters and youth placements after the termination of her mother's custodial rights.

She was fostered and then adopted by a family that chose to lock her in a basement to keep her from running away. ArtForce Iowa met her shortly after she was removed from her adoptive home by the Department of Human Services.  

She was 16 when she painted this eerie faceless portrait. 


Take me home.jpg
The Girl.jpg

"Goddess of Water" was painted by the same youth artist who painted "Take Me Home." She painted this large portrait when she was 17, attending ArtForce regularly and staying with a caring foster family. "All my paintings are of me, kinda... and how I feel about myself. I think I am going to do a series of goddesses... maybe representing the four elements," she commented when asked for permission to share her work and thought process. Notice how her painting skills have emerged in the texture of the hair. 

This youth artist is now working full-time, living in an apartment in Sherman Hill and exploring her options for future education. She is also a singer and a budding musician.