Investing In Your Community-1

Collaborative "Better Together" mural at Indian Creek

Paint Love artist Christina Wert worked with Indian Creek art teacher Zully Conde and Paint Love's executive director Julie McKevitt to create an amazing collaborative project for 90 third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Indian Creek Elementary. Indian Creek is a Title 1 where over 80 different languages are represented in the study body!  The team created a mural concept promoting peace, unity, and kindness. All of the students contributed illustrated fairy tales around one of those themes. The result was a beautiful mural that proudly hangs in their school hallway! Julie painted the faces of the children in the classrooms, so the kids could watch and participate in the entire process of the project. While we were installing the piece in the hallway, students kept coming by and getting so excited to see how their contributions came together 

"Better together" mural at Indian Creek Elementary School
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The Giving Me at Peachtree Elementary

Three art projects. Two hundred and sixty kindergarteners. One amazing event! We were so honored when Peachtree Corners Business Association approached us to host a project at a Title I school near to them. They generously donated a grant to make the event happen and I wish everyone could have seen the joy and excitement on the kid’s faces as we got started.
 

This event was themed around giving. The teachers wanted the students to create art for the upcoming art show in which a portion of the proceeds would be going to a school in Mexico, and possibly to another Paint Love art project. Paint Love artists don't just paint! We believe writing is an art form and full of creative inspiration. We took the creative mind of children's book author, Dr. Lydia Criss Mays, and turned her ideas into art projects with the help of artist volunteers Christina Wert and & Katey Penton. Dr. Mays did live readings of her book, The Giving Me. She talked with the kids about what giving feels like, what giving looks like, and popular children’s book illustration styles.

We split the Kindergarteners into 3 groups. Each group started out in the cafeteria with Lydia. After they were brought back to their classrooms, Christina Wert, Julie and I taught the project. Julie planned the event so that we moved in a wave from classroom to classroom. We never had all 250 kindergarteners at one time.

We chose to do three projects so there would be a wider variety of pieces at the art show. Here’s a quick look at each of the projects:

Watercolor:

The watercolor and crayon project was easily my favorite. It was based off of Kathryn Otoshi & E.B. Lewis Illustrated books. The kids got to use paint to create background, then trace out their arms. We talked about warm and cool colors. And punched out hearts from their warm color crayon drawings.

Marker:

This marker project was super fun. Lydia was inspired by Mo Willems and we pulled a little bit from Romero Britto’s style. The kids were able to create landscapes and collage on printed illustrations from The Giving Me book.

Oil Pastel:

Our oil pastel project was based on the illustrations of Jerry Pinkney. We talked about warm and cool colors and blending. Oil Pastels have such an interesting texture when blended! This was a fun one, because kids were able to get a little messy without getting too messy.

They turned out so well! I loved seeing how each child took a different approach. Every piece is different and unique, even though it was the same project. It was such a joy to meet so many creative spirits!

A huge thank you to the Peachtree Corners Business Association for sponsoring this opportunity!

Art Journals with the Decatur See Beautiful Club

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Our first project with the See Beautiful club at the Decatur Housing Authority was nothing short of amazing! See Beautiful is a philanthropic company with a mission to provide inspiring, ethically-sourced products that create more beautiful in the process. See Beautiful creates more beautiful in the world through empowerment, education and strategic giving initiatives.

Dr. Lydia Criss Mays, the founder, hosts See Beautiful clubs all across Atlanta once a month. We were able to be a part of the Decatur See Beautiful club and make visual journals at our first meeting.

More than just a place to write, these journals are a place for the girls to sketch out the beautiful they see in the world and paint out the beautiful they want to create in the world.

Lydia kicked off the meeting with a book reading and discussion on what it means to see beautiful. Julie and I introduced the journals about half way. The girls were so excited! I showed the girls my first visual journal and we talked about the different things I made and why. After the girls picked out their journals, we began gluing the pages together to create sturdy pages that would be more accepting of paint and other mediums. We added to and decorated the covers. The girls saw the paper rose on Julie’s visual journal and a paper rose craze spread like wildfire. Pretty soon we were all laughing because we could not teach the technique fast enough!  

We had such a great time with these amazing girls! We're excited to share a few more of the projects we did with the girls. Stay tuned!