Opening doors: Leeds youth board sponsors community art project

Published 9:58 am Friday, June 2, 2017

Visitors to downtown Winchester will see more doors along the sidewalks than usual following a project by the Leeds Center for the Arts Youth Advisory Board.

Portals to Possibilities, the board’s first major project, is now on display in front of several storefronts and the theater itself.

The student members of the board collected a number of old doors before sending out a request for artists to submit potential designs for them.

Student Charli O’Dell said the board began working on the project late in 2016, between October and December. After considering other ideas for the project, the group eventually settled on doors because of the symbolism.

“Doors are symbolic of possibilities,” Linnzie Hays said. “When you open up a door you open up your imagination. There are a lot of open doors in Winchester, you just have to open them and go through them.”

Eventually, the members found and approved designs for 10 doors.

The doors were put on display for the first time May 27 at Leeds.

“The artists and some community members came to the reception,” Tessa Miller said. “It was cool to see (the doors) all onstage together.”

Youth board leader Ellie Miller said the goal of the board is to educate and encourage members of the community through art.

The board members opted to showcase visual art for this project to reinforce Leeds’ mission that all the arts are important, not just performance art.

This was the first project for the board, which first formed in September of 2016. Miller said she would like to see the board complete one to two projects each year in the future as it continues its work. Board members said they learned several things through working on the project, including budgeting, managing time and resources and networking with community partners.