Boy 5 A Elicits Questions & Symbolizes Hope, Sam Jaeger, Parenthood, Five Acres, Rebecca Haussling, Effie Magazine, Boy 5A, Effie Magazine, Matthew Segotta
With Boy 5 A, Five Acres aims for prevention not intervention,
a significant break from the status quo in the foster care system.

Questions come before the answers. It’s a fairly simple reality, unless of course the questions aren’t being asked and the status quo persists… The Five Acres’ 20,000 by 2020 Campaign launched with the unveiling of Boy 5 A at the Armory Center for the Arts, in Pasadena, on November 6, 2014. Boy 5 A, a four-foot sculpture of a boy, represents the 20,000 children living in the foster care system of Los Angeles. Who are these children? Why are so many in the system?

“These children need safe, loving and permanent homes, right now. Their chances for finding a permanent home drop drastically after age 5. The odds are also lower for children of color, siblings and self-identified LGBT youth,” said Rebecca Haussling, Five Acres Director of Communications. “There is an urgent need to act swiftly to expand the pool of potential adoptive parents for these children.”

Kicking off Five Acres’ celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month – November – the Boy 5 A project is similar to the Community of Angels Project seen all over the county of Los Angeles. Boy 5 A will be “fostered” and on display in seven various public spaces around Pasadena and Los Angeles county over a seven week span. The number seven represents the average number of homes foster child encounters, while in the system.

Matthew “Scout” Segotta, “a social practice performance based artist who likes delve in sculpture” is responsible for the creation of Boy 5 A. He is kind, extremely forthcoming  and one might say “humble to a fault.” He believes that the real art of his work is in the conversations people have in response to his creations, not in the objections themselves. In general, Segotta is a refreshing and surprising discovery.

“You create something and it’s kind of in this bubble, and then it becomes something in this larger cultural context,” Segotta said. “I want to bring a larger conversation, I’m interested in that aspect [of art].”

For his MFA Thesis at the University of Pennsylvania, Segotta painted a large America Flag on a canvas using photochromic paints (it is only visible under sunlight or UV light, otherwise it appears like a white canvas) the piece along with others from the program showed at galleries in Berlin and Los Angeles.

“Of course, I’m the American who brings an American Flag to Germany,” Segotta confessed. Controversy ensued, of course. “The curator was freaking out, and at the same time he was loving it. It made sense in Philadelphia, and it made sense in Berlin, but in a whole other context. It’s interesting how people bring their own ideas and baggage to a piece,” he said.

Helping Five Acres with their permanency campaign is no huge stretch for Segotta, being of service and helping children is engrained. During his time at University of Pennsylvania, aside from pursuing his own art, Segotta worked with underprivileged students from ages 9 to 22 to help give them a foundation in nutrition education and basic arts, as a part of the Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI), Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships. There he created structures and installations for three community gardens, including large farm structures for Philadelphia’s Historic Bartram Gardens, and along with is students he refurbished the UNI Youth Urban Mobile Market.

Within the last year Segotta found himself even more entrenched in education and arts advocacy, he now serves the art world as Vice President of Strategic Development at American Legacy Fine Arts, Newsletter Production Manager for California Art Club and as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor at Art Center College of Design. And, when the commission from Five Acres to create Boy 5 A arose, Segotta felt that it was more of a moral obligation to help the children in the foster care system, rather than just an art job.

“My mentor adopted four kids, two separate families,”Segotta said. “Seeing children without parents or families, it’s saddening, and it’s more saddening now that I have a child.” Segotta’s daughter just celebrated her first birthday. And, he and his wife hope to adopt in the future. He said, it’s something they’ve frequently discussed and is always on their minds.

The desire to help others, enhanced by fatherhood made Segotta’s decision to become involved with Five Acres and help with their 20,000 by 2020 Campaign very easy. It is also very necessary.

“Capturing the joy and hope of the children, Boy 5 A will help Five Acres drive home the message that they are just children – with the same basic needs as any of their peers,” Haussling said.

As far as the future of Boy 5 A, after the seven weeks he will reside at his permanent adoptive home with Berkshire Hathaway Homes Services California Properties Charitable Foundation. The foundation was an early adoptee, even before the official launch of the campaign. In addition to giving him a permanent home, the foundation will also be giving him a permanent name.

“Hopefully, people will spend enough time with the sculpture [of Boy 5 A]
to ask themselves the question, ‘why does it exist?’”
— Matthew “Scout” Segotta.

Five Acres is a child and family services agency strengthening families and preventing child abuse through treatment and education in community based and residential programs. Established as an orphanage in 1888, today Five Acres offers an array of services including community-based services, residential treatment, foster care and adoption, supporting over 8,400 children and families in five counties, including Los Angeles. For more information, visit

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