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Nurturing through Art: Liu Shiming's Sculptures and Their Messages to the Youth

On July 31st, the Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University curated an art experience event specially tailored for AMARD&V (Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs, & Violence). This event, aimed at supporting disadvantaged Latino/a and African American youth in New Brunswick, NJ, revolved around the ongoing Liu Shiming Sculpture Exhibition - Live Gives Beauty Form. AMARD&V's Healing Through the Arts Summer Program leverages art and Rutgers mentorship to enhance art skills, critical-thinking, cultural understanding, and citizenship among underprivileged Latino and African-American youth. This specific event featured guided tours of Liu Shiming's exhibition and a hands-on clay sculpting workshop.

The art experience was part of a greater effort to introduce the vitality, creativity, and beauty of life embodied in Liu's sculptures to local youth, particularly those facing adversity. Guided by gallery director Richard Siggillino and others, the young participants were introduced to Liu's works, understanding the creative process and life-affirming beauty encapsulated within them. The sculpting workshop, facilitated by artist Joshua Araujo, allowed them to immerse themselves in artistic creation, finding joy and self-expression through molding clay

The artistic director of AMARD&V Claudio Mir wants the youth to reflect and ponder on their lives, to think independently, and to elevate their self-awareness through understanding the meanings of Liu’s artworks. The process, though possibly different from the expected outcome, is full of joy, learning, and experiences that equip them to face life's challenges. Joshua Araujo, reflecting on his workshop experience, praised Liu's ability to express immediacy and soul in his sculptures. He emphasized the unique opportunity for inspiration, the therapeutic nature of Liu’s art, and the importance of freedom of expression.

This exhibition was not just a display of art but a multi-dimensional effort to nourish the souls of those who need help, allowing them to feel inspired. The legacy of Liu Shiming's art has thus transcended its form, reaching out to society, proving that art is not confined to galleries but has the power to change lives, foster creativity, and cultivate hope.

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