Trisha, an avid youth artist, activist and feminist intertwines community service and artivism to highlight the incredible work of young artists, host art galleries to raise awareness for current issues and hold fundraisers supporting her community with her organization, Art Shine Foundation! She tells us how she organized events to help the elderly during the pandemic, what inspires her creations, her favorite 'artivist' pages and much more!
1. It’s lovely to speak with you, Trisha! We’re going to be discussing how your passion for artivism translated into the creation of your nonprofit, Art Shine Foundation. Could you inform us of its mission? On this platform, in what ways do you intertwine community service, art and activism?
Wonderful speaking with you as well! My passion for artivism motivated me to create ASF, even though I had no prior experience creating a large organization. My goal was to create a global community of youth artists and provide them with opportunities to spark change through their artwork. I focused on fostering three main qualities among teens: leadership, creativity, and service. ASF would serve as a platform to catalyze their inner changemaker and innovator. Throughout high school, I looked for a space like this, but never found a place where I felt at home. Gandhi once said, “be the change you wish to see in this world,” which is what I am accomplishing with ASF. I believe that having a safe, inclusive place for youth creators to collaborate and share their stories was vital to changing people’s lives, and ultimately, the world. ASF’s overarching goal is to incite change, awareness, and positivity in the community. We include all art forms to promote diversity, interview/feature teen artists to highlight their incredible work, host art galleries to raise awareness for current issues, and hold fundraisers supporting the community. Together, the ASF community has been able to advocate for equality, facilitate open, constructive discussion, and positively impact lives. In the span of 6 months, our team has grown to 50+ youth artists representing 11 states and 8 countries. We have curated a Black Lives Matter Gallery to advocate for racial equality, human rights, and inclusion; interviewed and featured teen artists around the world to amplify youth voices; and raised over $1,000 for retirement homes in need.
2. In reaching out to us, you’d mentioned being an avid feminist. Is feminism part of the focus on Art Shine Foundation or do you engage in the movement through other outlets?
This month, ASF will be launching our feminism art magazine. I decided to start this magazine in order to raise awareness for women’s rights and gender equality, to help inspire future female leaders and changemakers, and to support the female community through creative expression. Since I’m heavily involved in feminism, I also take part in other organizations to advocate for what I believe in. I serve as the president of my high school’s feminism club, where we actively discuss feminist issues; work as a journalist for New/Gen, a women’s rights advocacy organization; and volunteer for Hygiene for Her, which provides free feminine hygiene products to women in the state of Washington. I’ve also created artwork depicting feminism and feminist ideals, so I’ve found many ways to not only advocate for women’s rights, but also educate others on gender equality.
3. What type of art do you most enjoy making? Who inspires your creations?
I love experimenting, innovating, and trying new things. Thus, I have meddled with every possible medium of art I could get my hands on: oil pastel, charcoal, pencil, colored pencil, and more. As my art style has matured, I have become more drawn to complex themes and connecting with my audience through the emotional appeal of my work. Additionally, I am an art activist, which is why several of my pieces revolve around mental health, positivity, racial justice, feminism, and other topics I care deeply about. There are many artists I look to for inspiration, and it is hard to name just one. However, I use themes in my daily life, current issues, and storytelling to drive my creations forward.
4. Why did you choose to donate the profits made from your galleries (Art Shine Foundation) to retirement homes in need? While we’re on the topic, I’d love to congratulate your team on raising $1,000 and supporting over 500 senior residents!
Thank you so much! This initiative is called the Glimmer of Hope Project. We collected motivational youth-created artwork (formatted into cards) and donations to create care packages for nursing homes in need. I started this project to aid seniors facing severe isolation, fear, and loneliness during Covid-19. The elderly community is extremely vulnerable, not only to the virus, but also the mental health challenges of not being able to see their loved ones. Supporting and protecting them during these uncertain, anxiety-inducing times is so important. We fundraised $1,000 in 2 weeks, and ASF team members volunteered to assemble/deliver packages in their state. We delivered 500 cards, 350 masks, 250 food items, 50 books, etc. to 7 facilities across 4 states. We have 2-4 more deliveries planned. So far, we have helped uplift and protect 550+ seniors nationwide.
5. Are there any other pages combining art and activism together that you’d recommend readers to follow?
There are so many! There’s Artvocacy, Young Artivist Alliance, Artivism Initiative, Artivist Project are some awesome art activism pages, to name just a few. There are also a lot of feminism, climate change, mental health, and racial justice centered art accounts out there as well.
6. How can readers get involved with your organization? How else can they support your mission?
We would love to have people join our cause! Currently, we are accepting people to our art ambassador program. This program aims to provide teens with a global network of artists and creators alike. We will be providing our art ambassadors with different opportunities that they can participate in. Our ambassadors will also have the chance to see their artwork make a difference in peoples’ lives through ASF initiatives. If people are interested in applying for the program they can either go to our website’s Join Us tab or click the linktree in our bio and fill out the google form! We will also be opening up new positions in December for those interested. Outside of joining our team, readers can follow us on Instagram, connect with us through Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and submit art to our monthly/bi-monthly galleries, magazines, and initiatives!
7. What are your goals for the future of Art Shine Foundation? What are you proudest of accomplishing so far?
I’m hoping to launch free workshops in December to help make art education accessible for underprivileged teens. I’m also hoping to launch even larger-scale galleries which raise awareness for current events and creating a symposium for teen artists to come speak about their work and network with each other. We’ll be looking into collaborations with international organizations to promote diversity and will hold fundraisers to help support more underserved communities nationwide. I’m proudest of the talented community I’ve been able to form at ASF. Polarization was something I wanted to completely eliminate in ASF, so I emphasized collaboration, transparency, and respect. By doing this, I synthesized a melting pot of cultures and ideas. ASF members are compassionate, creative, and diverse, and being able to interact with such an incredible array of youth inspires me every day. I’m also incredibly grateful that I’ve had the chance to support so many senior citizens in the local and national community. Helping others is what brings me the most joy and seeing my work positively impacting people in need is absolutely beautiful.
8. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Thank you for the enlightenment!
If other young people have a vision to start something, but are intimidated by the road ahead, I would tell them to take the first jump: even if it’s small. I never thought I was capable of managing a fundraiser, let alone an organization, but I found that diving headfirst into making a difference kept me dedicated and focused. Anything is possible if you have a growth mindset and are willing to work for what you love: and I speak from experience!