We Speak


2009-2010 52 4' x 8' vinyl paintings

Site: Ross Hotel Building 

Artists: 70 teens in foster care

Partners: Teens from Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults, CADAS Scholze Adolescent Treatment Center, and The Children’s Home / Chambliss Shelter

Description:  For We Speak, teens in foster care had the opportunity to address the public with a message that would complete the phrase, “I _____­­­___”, using a word which best represented what they would express to all Chattanooga and its visitors.

Using mirrors, each teen painted his or her mouth articulating that word. When hung together, the paintings create a building that “speaks” words of empowerment. For teens that felt that no one cared about them or listened to them, the experience represented being heard and seen by their community.

We Speak was funded in part by the late Selmacash Paty.