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Arts & Culture

Art exhibition features youth voices from San Diego, Tijuana

A woman walks past different youth art pieces on display at Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
A woman walks past different youth art pieces on display at Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.

Eyal Brower is a 17-year-old student at High Tech High School in Point Loma.

He loves to travel the world with his family and has been capturing it through his camera lens for the last five years.

“I'm honestly a big street photography guy. That's what I like, that's my little niche, I guess you could say,” Brower said. "I'm basically looking for nice lighting, nice angles, people even with unique features or just cool expressions and stuff like that. I also like to shoot cars.”

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He’s also on the Youth Council for the art and education group Outside the Lens and a panelist for the organization's "Voice Out” exhibit on Saturday — an event showcasing works by San Diego and Tijuana youth.

Eyal Brower stands next to his photo for the "Voice Out" exhibition, May 16, 2024.
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
Eyal Brower stands next to his photo for the "Voice Out" exhibition, May 16, 2024.

“I am actually partly from Mexico. My mom’s from Mexico City,” Brower said. “I thought it was really cool to cross that kind of border in the sense that we can cross it through art and photography.”

Brower’s artwork was displayed alongside more than 100 other youth pieces at the exhibition.

“‘Voice Out’ was an invitation to invite local artists, young artists, to give us submissions of digital photography, illustration, mixed media,” Outside the Lens executive director Sarah Beckman said. “We really wanted to create a platform for youth to share their perspective and engage with the creative community.”

Flyers for the "Voice Out" exhibition sit on a table inside Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
Flyers for the "Voice Out" exhibition sit on a table inside Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.

The works express the artists’ unique point of view on “place.”

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Many of the works on display play with powerful emotions well beyond the artists' years.

“The students are actually sometimes evoking negative feelings, or feelings of displacement or loss. And some are feeling experiences of joy and really celebratory moments in their life,” Beckman said. “So you're getting this whole breath of emotions from all the different age groups.”

The inaugural exhibition took place at the organization’s “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village. It featured art from local youth between the ages of 8 to 19 years old.

“I wanted to show an exhibit of multiple places,” Brower said about his Parisian photograph of a near-empty hallway. “And I felt like this kind of shop-corridor showed that there was a lot of different places with a lot of different stories.”

People stand next to different youth art pieces on display at Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.
Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
People stand next to different youth art pieces on display at Outside the Lens' “Wonder Lab” in San Diego’s East Village, May 16, 2024.

He’s hoping this exhibit is the first big break for a career in photography.

“I wanted to show as a young photographer you can still get out there and show different things, and show creativity,” Brower said. “I feel like photography is a big way to express yourself in a lot of different things and ways, that's what I kind of see in all the art over here. So I'm honestly just really happy to be a part of it.”

Beckman said “Voice Out’ is a platform for youth to be heard, seen and creatively inspired.

The event was free for the public, and the best entries will be featured at Logan Heights’ Bread & Salt art gallery this June in collaboration with The Getty Museum.