Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Jobs not Jails" - Homeboy Industries

I am very interested in the "social" aspect of silkscreen. In the context of the class, that means interacting with work outside of the gallery space or the typical "art world." After some creative googling, I came across a different meaning of "social silkscreen."

I was very excited to learn about Homeboy Industries, headquartered in Los Angeles. It was started in 1992 by Father Gregory J. Boyle, a Jesuit Priest, to create businesses that provide training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. Other economic enterprises have been created since the first venture, including Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Graffiti Removal, Homeboy Maintenance, and Homeboy Landscaping.

Homeboy Silkscreen was started in 1996, and is currently the largest division of Homeboy Industries. It has employed nearly 500 gang members who have learned the fundamentals of silkscreening while developing a work ethic working side by side with their enemies. State-of-the-art silkscreening and embroidery techniques are used to create custom clothing and accessories for a variety of schools, churches, private companies, and city organizations.

Take a look at the Homeboy Industries Web site at

1 comment:

annan said...

I think it is always great when companies/organizations like this form to help people in a social, professional, and intellectual way. The website says that the industry is "to assist at-risk and former gang involved youth," but they also help current gang involved youth, too. Gang members know fairly well about graffiti, probably scrawling their names on buildings, and they can turn that from vandalization to more of an art form. They can use art and silkscreen to provide a more positive social space. This Industry is actually pretty cool because they have all sorts of programs that these kids go through. I would like to see how the gang members that are apart of this industry feel about it.