Art Start portrait project ‘See Me Because’ features south side Latino youth

Robert G. Mull
Tony Padilla, 15, and Ren Ayala, 20, look at Padilla's portrait during the opening reception of "See Me Because" Art Start Exhibition Tuesday, May 26, 2021 at Harbor View Plaza in Milwaukee. Padilla and Ayala were two of nine students whose portraits were displayed for the community to see, read and hear their stories.

Art Start, a non-profit organization, is featuring nine young Latino adults from Milwaukee’s south side in the group’s first fully bilingual “See Me Because” portrait project.

The outdoor exhibit, which aims to explore the identities of young people of color in Milwaukee through photography, will be at Harbor View Plaza, located at 600 E. Greenfield Ave. — where the street dead-ends at the waterfront.

It runs until July 31.

In collaboration with photographers, videographers, makeup artists and interviewers, the young adults, ages 14 to 20, posed for both realistic and surreal portraits where they aimed to express how they want to be seen in the world. Each portrait includes a brief biography with a QR code that, when scanned, leads viewers to a video interview. 

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