Spotlight on AFH Painting teen Brent Coutain​

January 2017

Spotlight on afh painting teen brent coutain

Each month, we interview one of Artists For Humanity’s enterprising teen artists and designers to give you an inside look into their creative process and their unique experience at AFH. AFH’s model reinforces the reciprocal value of pairing working artists and designers (who we call ‘mentors’) with teen artists and designers (who we call ‘youth participants’ or ‘apprentices’) to find creative solutions for client projects.

With studios in full swing even during construction of the EpiCenter, there’s been no shortage of exciting projects. This month, we hear from Painting Studio participant Brent.​

Name: Brent Coutain

Studio: Painting Studio

Age: 17

School: Boston Latin Academy

1. How long have you been working at AFH?

I have been working at AFH, in the Painting Studio, since October of 2016.


2. What has been your favorite project you have worked on?

My favorite project was my half painting, half collage piece. This piece was also my most challenging because I had to figure out the relationship between colors and how to lighten and darken colors in the correct way.


3. Tell us about your experience with off-site interactives. How do those work and what is your role in them?

For live interactives, we go to different places and encourage the public to create collaborative artwork with us. We set up the piece, bring paint markers, and ask anyone in the nearby area to contribute. My role is to give them a sense of art direction and answer any questions they may have.


4. What is the biggest challenge you face while working on off-site interactives?

My biggest challenge is making the first introduction with strangers during the interactives because I sometimes feel awkward encouraging people I don’t know to create with us.


5. What is the most rewarding part of off-site interactives?

For me, the most rewarding part of interactives is meeting new people and seeing the final product. I really enjoy seeing the piece come to life.


6. Have you always been interested in art and design?

I’ve always liked art and design. The first time I really connected with my own creativity was in my 7th grade art class. Everyone in the class was asked to paint a single square and when we finished we put each of them together to create our own version of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”


7. How has your time at AFH affected your personal, academic, or social life?

AFH has made me more of a social person. Because of AFH, I try to interact with new people more. AFH has also helped me academically by teaching me how to pay more attention to detail. I’ve even found myself paying close attention to numbers which was definitely not the case before.


8. Are you planning on attending college? If so, what do you hope to study?

I do plan on going to college and I hope to study Economics and Sociology.


9. Do you see yourself continuing to create after your time at AFH?

To be honest, I don’t know what I’ll being doing after AFH but I hope that I will have time to occasionally take a break from what I’m doing and start a painting.


10. What is one piece of advice you'd like to pass on to teens who are new to the program?

My advice is to never give up and if you want to get better keep practicing because it really helped me improve.





Thank You!

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Artists For Humanity | 100 W 2nd St Boston MA, 02127 T.617.268.7620    F.617.268.7358



This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Mass Cultural Council, and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.​

Funded in part by Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion, a multi-year effort focusing on access, equity and quality arts learning for BPS students. The BPS Arts Expansion Fund, managed by EdVestors, is supported by the Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Katie and Paul Buttenwieser, The Klarman Family Foundation, Linde Family Foundation, and other foundations and individuals.. BPS Arts Expansion is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.​

Artists For Humanity is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts.​