I thought he was going to hit me. He had already cussed me out and made it clear he was not going to participate in this ” art for faggots” stuff. He asked politely for my acting headshot, tore it up and threw it at me. He flipped me the bird a few times then jumped up and swung from the heating vents that hang from the ceiling. His name is Daniel but he told me he wanted to be called Marquis.
Marquis is a 15 year old juvenile with a great smile and some anger issues. He is living at Spruce Street because he blew out of his former foster care housing and is awaiting a new placement. He came up behind me while I was painting and started pushing my brush around making some pretty cool marks. He began to circle the table in what appeared to be an attempt to suss out his next move. It was what he didn’t do next that was important. He didn’t bother the other kids, he didn’t cuss out me or staff he just kept circling the table.
As he came around I left a sheet of paper out and he stood over it. “I want to throw paint on it.” Boom. Done. Do it. Great idea. For the next 45 minutes he grabbed tubes of paint and began spraying and splattering color after color then massaging it into the paper with his hands. He would let out the most violent yelp as each gesture connected. His body would jerk and jump as he threw harder and more forcefully.
I showed him pictures of Dale Chihuly using a broom to push color around with his feet covered in paint splatters, he said “cool” then asked for another piece of paper.