Coping Through Art

OYA youth share the art they’ve been creating during the pandemic.

Making art is one way that many of us have been coping with being stuck at home during the pandemic.

The youth in Oregon Youth Authority custody are no exception. Art is an important way for these youth to hone their creativity, release and express their emotions, and calm themselves during tough times.

We asked our youth to share some of the art they’ve been creating during this time, so that we could share it with you. Enjoy!

Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility

The Devil's Rose, art by Ashlie S at Oak Creek

“The Devil’s Rose” by Ashlie S.

Rainbow-colored jellyfish

By Lyllie W.

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility

Highlights from a recent outdoor art project led by Carlos Chavez with Morpheus Youth Project. Chavez said, “Positive vibes was the only theme. We set up outside and enjoyed a nice sunny day, listening to some mellow music and playing with colors.”

"Manifest Greatness" artworkartwork of tree branches against night skytwo artworks, one says "loyalty" and the other says "fam"A young man creating art outsideA young man creating art outsideA young man creating art outsideA young man creating art outside

Community Residential Programs

misty forest at sunrise

Art by Izac R.

rooster head

Art by Caleb M.

Forest scene

Art by Izac R.

two fish

Art by Allen C.

a hand working on a painting

Izac R. working on his artwork

Bigfoot picture on a wall

Artwork by Tyler S.

Painting of wolves on a wall

Artwork by Allen C.

drawing of a hand with a screaming mouth

Artwork by Allen C.


Kiki H. created this piece during Stay Home, Save Lives.

OYA Foster Homes

Jaiden M. created these three paintings while self-quarantining at home with her OYA foster parent. Her juvenile parole and probation officer, Lani Thomas, says Jaiden is “an intelligent and creative young woman.”

painting of a cactus with a flower

Artwork by Jaiden M.

painting with the words: You are allowed to heal, set boundaries, say no, put yourself first, cry, leave toxic relationships

Artwork by Jaiden M.

abstract painting with an eye and a cactus

Artwork by Jaiden M.

OYA Youth at Home

Painting is one of Ashlee W.’s coping skills, her JPPO Cliff Walker says. “Ashlee is very resilient and has done a great job creating change for herself since her commitment to OYA,” he adds.

Ashlee 1

Artwork by Ashlee W.

Ashlee 2

Ashlee W., an OYA youth, uses painting as a coping skill.

Ashlee 3

Ashlee W. shares artwork she’s created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashlee night dayAshlee drawingAshlee portraitAshlee deskAshlee mosaic

  1. Rob McQueen-Jensen April 14, 2020 at 9:26 am

    I work at J-5 in Bend, Oregon. Art is an essential means whereby youth can express themselves. Sometimes words just aren’t adequate; art allows a young person to discover their truest self. -Rob

  2. This is so awesome to see! My nephew Izac R has talent and so do the other kids here. This is so neat!❤

  3. […] Coping Through Art: OYA youth share art they’ve been creating during the pandemic […]

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