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Let the Sunshine Come Through


By Denise Tyler, 14


Last fall, teens in our Dreams Sculptures program at Atlas used found and recycled objects to craft mixed media sculptures reflecting who they are. Denise channeled her past experiences with depression into her art, then shared that process below.


The very first time I was introduced to ART 180, I was in a very bad place in my life. I was extremely insecure and severely depressed. Never in my life would I have imagined that art would change my life for the better, let alone that my sculpture would help me heal somewhat emotionally and become so amazing!


At the beginning, I really didn’t put much thought into my piece until the last second.

Now I realize it shows so much about me and what I have been through in my life so far.

I love bright yellow. It’s my favorite color. It wraps around the sides of my piece and represents the love that I have for myself. When you start loving yourself, you start getting more confident and becoming happier—brighter on the inside.


The rough black fabric on the right side of my sculpture represents what I went through to get to my “bright yellow” place. It captures all of the depression, all of the isolation, and the hurt I once felt.


I was also really sensitive to a lot of things and that is what the egg I painted metallic gray and its glass holder stands for—because we all know how easily breakable both are.


I had to learn how to love myself all over again and no one could help me with that but ME!


I am still dealing with these things to this day, and that is okay because I have learned that there is always sunshine at the end of the storm. If you just keep that mindset, the clouds will eventually move aside and let the sunshine come through.



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