suunews.com stories: Arts and Entertainment

Emanuel Martinez created a “Mural of Hope” with incarcerated youth at the Southwest Utah Youth Center. The unveiling of the mural was on Tuesday.

The Emanuel Project created an opportunity for incarcerated youth at the Southwest Utah Youth Center to paint a mural with nationally-renowned artist Emanuel Martinez.
The Emanuel Project’s purpose is to positively impact at-risk youth by providing creative learning materials for the classroom and art therapy, support and supervise staff in the proper use of the materials, display inspirational art in central locations and offer motivational and incentive programs to incarcerated youth.
Emmanuel Martinez was incarcerated multiple times as a youth. At the age of 13, he painted his first mural while in a facility. That was when he discovered he had artistic abilities. He met an artist when he was 15 years old, who helped him finish school and pursue his artistic career. As time went on, Martinez made it a lifetime-pursuit to go to youth facilities and create murals with them (the youth) to inspire them to reach their full potential.
Steve Kaelin, Utah state office of education and education specialist, said that this was a successful collaborative project.
“The youth got an opportunity to meet a great man and connect with him,” Kaelin said. “His murals represent family, community, education and careers. It’s a very powerful way to lift and inspire (the youth).”
The project underwent ten days of painting and crafting the mural. Throughout that time Martinez got to talk to and speak with each youth that participated in the creating the artwork.
Steven Schofield, Principal of Iron County School District Alternative Programs, said Martinez was patient with the youth.
“Sometimes there are kids who are unhappy with the situation they are in,” he said. “Martinez was very understanding and patient. And if someone made a mistake, he wouldn’t create a big …

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