Bursting the Bubble
Life Pieces to Masterpieces


“I want to make our cupcake a POWER RANGER!”

This is how a group of  3 –and -4-year-old apprentices (students) at Life Pieces to Masterpieces decided to decorate their cupcakes.

Life Pieces to Masterpieces is a program aimed at African-American boys and young men in the underserved areas of the District of Columbia.  Founded in 1996, LPTM fosters creative drive and uses art as a form of collaboration and meditation. The apprentices practice a specific form of art in the style of founder and artist Larry Quick.

Today, the after-school program serves 117 African American young men ages 3-25 still using an art method like Quick’s with a program built on the sturdy foundation of their human development system. The majority of apprentices live in Wards 7 and 8.

“It’s easy to live in DC and never escape your Foggy Bottom bubble, to never go east of the river,” said development manager Mignotae Kebede, who grew up in an Ethiopian family in California.

Slideshow of works from Life Pieces to Masterpieces. All images property of Life Pieces to Masterpieces.

Typically, 5-6 apprentices work together on each piece. The process starts with meditation and journaling. Then it opens up to a group discussion, sketches of what the art will transform into, and finally, the group heads to the art room where they paint their canvases and stitch together a creation.

Eventually they add a title and a poem or story to accompany the piece before it is complete. Several of the works created by apprentices of Life Pieces are currently being curated and will be displayed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture set to open in 2016. (Next) 

About the Author: Olivia Rios is a writer for the Daily Do Good. She spends much of her time in the “Foggy Bottom bubble.” This was her first trip east of the river—it was a great experience.