Dec 15, 2022 NXTHVN

At NXTHVN, Young Voices Lead The Way

In the corner of NXTHVN’s gallery is a standard student desk seen in schools across the United States. Hearts, crescent moons, and butterflies dot its surface. Interspersed with the Sharpie doodles is a condemnation and a cry for help. 

“I’m an American child and maybe someday I’ll see great things and see great sights,” the poem on its surface climaxes. “Or maybe, if I’m not quiet enough or lucky enough, I’ll end up as another empty desk.”

In American Child, a sculpture and poetry installation by Sereen Mezzane, the mundane is turned into a site of unrelegated and unrelenting violence. This summer, Mezzane is one of seven high school students and recent graduates to show her work at NXTHVN, where she is a member of the organization’s High School Apprenticeship Program.