A Community Project

 

Juried 2-D Prize Winner at ArtPrize 2021

Aging Out seeks to visually capture the reality of a social injustice that, too often, lies hidden in the shadows. Viewers are invited to consider seven portraits -- each portraying someone who, upon turning eighteen years old, has either "aged out" of foster care or would be "aging out" if a family had not gotten involved.


Each portrait is made of 3,000 squares. Each square is uniquely placed and angled either towards or away from the light source. The image created is only made of reflected light or shadows cast. In total, the 21,000 squares represent the amount of youth who age out of the American foster care system each year. Every eighteen seconds, the central light source is extinguished, revealing the face of a youth who's endured a journey in this system, along with a poignant statistic illuminated by a smaller light. This cyclical lighting and extinguishing temporally represents the dreaded moment where, upon turning eighteen years old, our nation's most vulnerable young adults are abandoned by the state and rendered subject to the mercy of the unjust societal forces that create these sobering statistics.  


Gonçalves’ distinct technique uses shadow and light to expose the image, the message, and ultimately, a social inequity that deserves a well-defined place in the minds of compassionate and justice-oriented people with a heart for leveling the playing field so that all young people, regardless of their origins, have a fair chance at creating a meaningful life for themselves.
 

Titles and Dimensions:

  
Shay, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches)  
Alejandro, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches) 
Hailey, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches)  
Corey, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches)  
Eric, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches)  
Chloe, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches)  

Joseph, (57.5 x 48.5 x 8 inches) 
 

Medium: Pixel Cut Paper, Light Source, and Shadow in Wooden Frame