Family Roots

This month, Bates College Student Volunteers designed a project with the theme of “Roots.”
They designed the project to support youth in expressing their family roots,
where they come from, their identity, and identifying the people in their lives that support them.

ArtVan staff encouraged youth to think about the root connections
between each tree to symbolize their own relationships.

Some trees might be close together with strong root connections for close family members or friends.
Some trees might have weak, rocky connections to represent difficult relationships;
and some trees might be far apart but have a strong connection,
representing a loved one who has passed away.

"This is me, my sister, and my imaginary friend. The trees are my Mom and Dad."
Youth created paper trees with extended roots,
each tree representing the self, a family member, or a part of their identity.

In our project demo, we emphasized the powerful metaphor of roots
and how they provide nourishment to other trees within the root system,
similar to the ways we can support members of our family systems
and help each other grow.
"This is a palm tree. The trunk is me. The coconuts are my cats. The leaves are my family adults. The roots at the bottom are my sisters."
"Mine is my Mimi and me in a magic forest. The magic is love"
"My life is my family. My roots are my art and my family."