To journey with vulnerable youths in an exploration of identity and values through mentorship, behavioral and structural development, while also creating a “tangible awareness” of the possibilities that exist beyond the images of their community.
For decades, our inner-city communities have painted troubling pictures that our young people have accepted as the norm, and as such, are replicating daily pictures of violence, homicide, incarceration, gang activity, and high school drop-outs. Painting Pictures Inc. equips young people from the Union, Essex & Passaic Counties of New Jersey between the ages of 13-23 to make the best of their abilities and reach their full potential. Additionally, after these youths become aware of their potential, Painting Pictures will help them to paint metaphorical pictures that include a quality education, healthy lifestyle, and a bright future.
In Loving Memory Of Our Friend, Lenny
"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso." - Pablo Picasso
Lenny J. Mercedes-Payamps, the face of Painting Pictures Incorporated, tragically passed away in a drowning accident on June 12, 2017. We miss him immensely and are committed to keeping his legacy alive!
Our inner city communities have painted pictures that our young people are believing to be the norm and, as such, are replicating daily-pictures of violence, homicide, incarceration, illegal activity, gangs, and high school drop-outs. It’s a despairing cycle. Generations are affected by pictures that have been painted by the generations before them. Who will stop the cycle? I believe that’s it’s time to show these young people how to paint pictures of worth!—how to paint masterpieces.
We must first teach inner city youth how to think better – and then paint those good thoughts of a great future, a long life, and a successful career rather than painting and becoming what they see. Let’s help them paint positive pictures!