For the first time in the Fuego Youth Leadership Program’s 10-year history, we invited first and second year leaders to work together for four weeks of collaboration, culminating in the 2019 Fuego Youth Leadership Reception this past Friday. The expanded program allowed students twice as much time to develop their artistic and leadership skills and more of an opportunity to work together and inspire one another’s work.
Fuego Leaders Jonathan Lee, Donald Pollard, and Elisa McCormick get ready to give a welding demo.
On Friday, fifteen 2019 Fuego Youth Leaders presented their final projects and demonstrated their newly acquired skills during live demonstrations to friends, family, staff, and faculty. From Elisa McCormick’s welded sculpture of an air-born bird to Simha Furaha’s intricately etched glass blown pieces, it was clear that this year, the leaders really wanted to blow the crowd away.
Second year Fuego Leader, Simha Furaha poses with his Glass Blowing mentor, Kelsey Kenny in front of his finished work.
“I would like to get more people into The Crucible in general, and into the Fuego program specifically,” said second-year Fuego leader, Rowan Barbeau. “Art is something a lot of people think they’re either good at or not, especially with industrial arts. It feels like it’s some sort of secret skill, but anyone can learn, and it opens up a whole new way of thinking.”
An Expanded Four-Week Program
During the four-week program, leaders explored themes of art, making, leadership, and identity. “My identity is important because glass is a white, male-dominated art,” explained C’Zarriah Davis-Smith, a second-year 2019 Fuego Leader in Glass Flameworking. “I haven’t seen myself represented in Glass Flameworking very often, so just being here and being me is important. I can be that representation for other students.”
Second year Fuego Leader, C’Zarriah Davis-Smith, says she was more confident teaching this year, giving six demos, instead of just one.
But perhaps the most heartwarming result of the 2019 Fuego session is how close the Fuego leaders have become. “The most delightful thing you can’t plan for is seeing how they become mentors to each other,” said Glass Flameworking instructor and mentor, Janet Hayes. “You can encourage teamwork, but you can’t create the love and shared camaraderie.”
“I’ve never seen a group of Fuego Leaders bond this much,” remarked Daniel Stauber, Crucible Workshops Manager. “The warmth they bring to the studio is remarkable.”
Check out all the photos from Friday’s 2019 Fuego Leaders Reception and in-progress shots from the weeks leading up to the event below.
2019 Fuego Leader Photo Gallery: