Back Story to A Youth Expo Place
I was a troubled youth, having lost my father at the age of 9. By the time I was 11, I had already been creating and building things in my backyard as an escape from my reality.
These project “experiments” kept me busy and off the streets and, out of trouble during an especially difficult era for urban youths. And my friends and other neighborhood kids—as well as adults—would come by to see and be entertained by these backyard projects and even “dream” along with me. In the process, I learned important things about myself.
To be able to build something with your own hands that you can take pride in gives one a feeling of accomplishment and elation that no words can fully describe. It is something that nurtures both the mind and soul.
The Glass House, 1963
The Pavilion, 1966
This can provide introspection of the self; it can help to heal when one is troubled; and it can challenge one to explore the various pathways of his or her abilities. To share a creation with others that offers enlightenment and gives enjoyment to others can elevate one’s self esteem as a vital, contributing human being.
The conversations I engaged in with the visitors that were facilitated from the displayed exhibits and structures were often thoughtfully stimulating and inspired me to seek more knowledge and posed choices to me for future endeavors in my adulthood.
With A Youth Expo Place, I want to provide this opportunity to many other youths —especially those who have no visions for a promising future—to immerse themselves into this unusual creative experience from which they can blossom.
My backyard projects (e.g., The Glass House & The Pavilion) and in particular, The FTS Center, serve as a proven template for A Youth Expo Place. This is an experimental project which has never been done before now. But it is a project that promises to produce positive results!
- Philip Jackson
The WYE Project Inc.
Towers of The FTS Center, 1968-1970