Collaborative

Farm to Table Mural at Dowell Elementary

Julie helped the Garden Club at Dowell Elementary School create a collaborative mural of farm fresh fruits and veggies for their cafeteria! Dowell Elementary in West Cobb is in their 2nd year of sponsoring a "Let's play in the dirt" Gardening Club with students in grades K-3. This mural explored how food gets to our plates from farm to table! 

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Collaborative Mural with Kate Club's Memory Walk

This is a special guest post by Paint Love volunteer Yesha Shah, who will be a Paint Love Marketing Intern in Spring 2018! 

This past Sunday, Paint Love partnered with Kate’s Club at Piedmont Park for their Memory Walk to honor the memories and legacies of loved ones who have died. Kate Club’s helps children cope with loss and death through therapeutic programs. At Paint Love, we bring creative art projects to children and teens who have faced trauma. Because of our shared philosophy, providing a creative outlet was our way of engaging the youth at Kate's Club who have faced loss.

The Project

We decided to make a collaborative mural, much like the one made in Houston. National Children’s Grief Awareness Day is Thursday, November 16, so the message we wanted to send out to the children is that they're not alone. For this reason, we chose to have a mural with pictures of togetherness and Kate's Club tagline, “Face Grief Together.” The mural was broken up into little squares. Each child painted their tile with the corresponding square from the mural. The final product was a college made by combining the individual works of art.

 Next, we took the project to the High Museum to do add a community component. The High was admission-free for a community day so it was the perfect opportunity. The theme at The High was “Around the World in 30 Days" so we focused on the theme, "Grief is universal."

We invited the public to make something that would support/connect with the artwork made by the families at Kate's Club. Participants at the High created the portions of the mural with paper collage. It will demonstrate the community supporting those who are grieving. The paint represents those who face loss and the paper represents those who love and support them and together it makes a complete mural. The paint is messy...as is grief and loss.  The paper is stable, structured: like friends who surround those who grieve with them.

Seeing everyone band together in support was heartwarming. People came with signs for loved ones who have passed. They were coated with stickers, glitter, paint, and messy handwriting that can only be done by a child. Many people who are grieving do not like talking about death and remembering those they've lost, but these signs and the Memory Walk showed children that it is okay to still talk about, and remember their loved ones. Just because they are not here anymore, doesn't mean that they are gone from our memories and hearts. 

We are honored to have worked with Kate’s Club, and look forward to continuing our partnership with them.

Paint Love in Houston

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston earlier this year and we saw thousands of people being displaced and facing such loss and difficulty, our community's and our country's response was "How can I help?"

At Paint Love, we bring transformational art experiences to children and teens facing poverty and trauma and our team knew the programming and services of Paint Love could be our way of helping. 

We put an ask out to the Paint Love community of "who wants to be involved?" and we got such a supportive response.  After considering the best way to bring what we do to Houston, we decided to follow our own model in Atlanta of connecting artists with nonprofits and see if there were any artists and volunteers in Houston that were interested in service but needed logistical and resource support. 

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Through email exchanges with the Houston Arts Alliance, Galveston Arts Center and other great arts organizations on the ground we were connected to Meghan Hendley-Lopez and her husband Felipe (together they run fmhelps.me) who were working to organize artists, mostly musicians at the time, to serve at the NRG center.  From there we started talking about project needs and came up with a plan. 

PROJECTS

We decided to take two of our favorite projects from Atlanta that work well with groups of people and foster a sense of community to Houston. 

PORTRAIT PARTNER PROJECT

The first was a portrait partner project created by Joe Dreher (@joekingatl).  We did the project our first night in Houston at NRG and it was such a great success! Five volunteers from Houston came out to support the project. We had a steady flow of children and families throughout the evening. We heard some stories that broke our hearts and were able to hopefully encourage and bring some joy during a difficult time. It was a fun night filled with smiles and great community. We created the following video to send to our volunteers in Houston so they could prepare for the project before we arrived, check it out:

HOUSTON STRONG MURAL

Our second project, which we brought to the Children's Museum of Houston with the help of Jerry's Artarama, Meghan, Felipe, and Andrew Karnavas (of Andyroo and the Andyrooniverse) during their free admission day,  was a collaborative mural project we first did with Paint Love artist Morgan Corbett here. With suggestions from Meghan, our executive director, Julie McKevitt, created a #Houstonstrong skyline design.  We invited 192 children and families to join us in painting the piece together! The mural was a huge success!!

 

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We are honored to have created such wonderful partnerships and for the opportunity to work side by side with community members and artists in Houston!