Madison Public Library’s Making Justice program recently brought teaching artists to teen participants at the Dane County Juvenile Court Shelter Home for an inaugural shoe design residency.

Artist Carlos Eduardo Gacharna worked with a teen participant from a previous Bubbler program to experiment with different types of footwear and different levels of design while documenting their processes and sharing their findings — all in an effort to begin building the foundation of an in-depth shoe design program for at-risk and court-involved Madison teens. Gacharna is a Colombian native who moved to Madison during his childhood. He studied art at UW-Madison and led library workshops in the Bubbler’s early days. Today, he teaches art to youth in Los Angeles.

Teaching artist Rodrigo Carapia used his painting and graffiti skills to start students out at square one by considering meaningful shoe design options on paper or canvas prior to grabbing a real pair of sneakers. Teaching artist Sam Christensen led an afternoon shoe painting workshop with students at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center that resulted in some one-of-a-kind products. Some students finished within the visit, and others were allowed to continue working on their shoes when time allowed throughout the rest of their stay. All students were allowed to put their creations into their personal property to take with them upon release.

The shoe design residency and programs were funded with a gift from Scooter Software. If you would like to make a gift to the Making Justice program, visit /donate and select Making Justice in the dropdown menu upon checkout, or mail a check to the foundation office with Making Justice on the memo line.