Jenni Bee, a resident of Vermont, has been a part of the ShareYourself community since the very beginning. As an artist, she has offered her skills to help design logos for social-good projects in her community.
When we saw that she started a new project on the platform last month, called Migrant Children Memorial, we were eager to get in touch with her to find out what her vision is for project and what sort of help she needs from the ShareYourself community. This is part one of our conversation. More will follow as we track her process.
Jenni is a child of immigrants. She also fled Germany with her young son over 16 years ago in order to find respite from bad circumstances - with nothing but three suitcases and not knowing anyone in Vermont, where she landed. While she considers herself lucky because of her light and unassuming appearance, she understands that that’s not the case for most - and that has been sitting with her for a long time. The current events surrounding immigration rights and wrongdoings in the US have been bothering her always.
“Anger, frustration, making one set of immigrants seem better or worse than the other, viciously going after them, separating children from their parents - it’s horrific,” says Jenni.
“Nobody can understand what these parents are going through. They are trekking so many miles, often by foot, moving your entire family. I know from experience, this is not something you do on a whim. You do it because they have no other choice.”
Beyond the personal passion for immigration issues, Jenni is an art teacher. As part of her professional development course work, she took a class on social activism and art, in which her professor encouraged finding social issues close to the heart and finding a way to express it through art. “Suddenly, that was it. Of course!” says Jenni. Thus, the sculpture idea was born to memorialize the migrant children who have died in the U.S. detention centers.
She has leaped into the creative process of fleshing out how she envisions these sculptures - the size, the materials, what she wants it to look like - picture steel bars with concrete arms reaching through. There are still parts she’s figuring out though. Where will these go? Will she need permits? She also recognizes some help she’ll need, including a studio space to work in, a way to transport the pieces once they’re complete, and most importantly, a way to help fund the project.
Want to help Jenni out with her project? Link up with her on ShareYourself and reach out with what you can offer. Especially if you’re in the Plainfield VT area with studio space, have access to materials, or want to help fund her project. Be sure to follow Jenni’s project for progress updates and subscribe to our newsletter to receive upcoming blog posts.