joedreher

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!

Built for Connection: Our Event with GSU + Fostering Together

Over the past two years, Paint Love has had the privilege of bringing some of Atlanta's greatest artists to serve and inspire hundreds of incredible students. At Paint Love we believe art is therapeutic, emotionally healing, and ultimately transformational.  That is why we work to bring the best artistic environments to our community's youth, particularly to those who face or are vulnerable to face difficulty including: stress, depression, abuse, neglect, grief, poverty, and self esteem issues.

Built for Connection Volunteers helping with Check in! 

Built for Connection Volunteers helping with Check in! 

On an individual level, art can positively impact self-esteem, confidence, and even happiness.  But in a collective environment, art can be even more powerful, bringing together a community, creating opportunities for communication, and building connections.

This couldn't have been demonstrated any better than it was just a few weeks ago at Georgia State University, where we were able to host our largest Paint Love event to date. 

Our Volunteers from GSU + our Paint Love Artists. Such a big group!

Our Volunteers from GSU + our Paint Love Artists. Such a big group!

With the volunteer support of 40 Georgia State University art students and four Paint Love artists, we created an event specifically tailored to foster children and families around the theme "Built for Connection."  Partnering with Fostering Together, we were able to invite families from thirteen different agencies including four DFCS county offices. 

Paint Love artist and Licensed Master Social Worker, Hannah Kimbrough helped our staff come up with the theme "Built for Connection" for this special event.  We love this idea.  

We as humans are built to be connected. When we work together in life (or in art) we can create something far more beautiful than if we tackled the project alone. 

With our theme in place, four Paint Love artists, Mac StewartJoe DreherRoss Boone, and Sabrina Barilone, volunteered to lead projects.  Each artist taught a creative technique infused with their personal style. Our guests were able to walk through the space (graciously provided for free by GSU)  and stop in at each of the artists' tables and create works of art (with many supplies generously donated by our friends at Binders.)

Take a look:


Mac Stewart working one on one with a child

Mac Stewart working one on one with a child

Mac Stewart and his gang of GSU volunteers

Mac Stewart and his gang of GSU volunteers

Mac Stewart:

Atlanta Visual Artist

Created 3D paper sculptures. 


 

Joe Dreher:

Atlanta visual artist and Artist in Residence with The Creatives Project at the Goat Farm Arts Center

Created portraits using clear acetate paper and mixed media paper and paint and frames from Ikea.

Joe Dreher's Project at Built for Connection

Joe Dreher's Project at Built for Connection

Joe's volunteers trying out the techinique

Joe's volunteers trying out the techinique

A child practising the technique on Madison 

A child practising the technique on Madison 


Paint Love Artists Ross Boone teaching the technique to GSU volunteers.

Paint Love Artists Ross Boone teaching the technique to GSU volunteers.

Paint Love Artists Caitlin Chase and Kim Warner working at the Thank You table!

Paint Love Artists Caitlin Chase and Kim Warner working at the Thank You table!

GSU Volunteer helping a family with their word art collage!

GSU Volunteer helping a family with their word art collage!

Ross Boone:

Illustrator and Writer

Ross created positive word art pieces around the idea "I am" to represent all of the strengths and characteristics of each family member

 

 

 

 


GSU Volunteer working one on one with a child!

GSU Volunteer working one on one with a child!

GSU Volunteers helping teach Sabrina's technique. 

GSU Volunteers helping teach Sabrina's technique. 

Sabrina Barilone:

Art Teacher in Cobb County

GSU Volunteers prepping for the event.

GSU Volunteers prepping for the event.

Sabrina created face mugs that fit together when stacked using air dry clay


This event in the press:

GSU Art + Design

 


 

 

The Largest Event in Paint Love History: Built for Connection

We are smack dab in the middle of planning our largest event yet! This is a big milestone for Paint Love. We have partnered up with Fostering Together and have the opportunity to host over 100 children and family members from the Georgia foster care system. The event’s theme? Built for Connection. We believe that we are all designed, created and built for connection. What better way to illustrate that than through a collaborative art project?

We’re lucky to be able to partner up with several Atlanta area artists: Mac Stewart, Joe Dreher, Ross Boone, Amy Myers and Sabrina Barilone. All our artists will be teaching a creative technique infused with their personal style. We are structuring the projects in such a way that families can complete a group art project together on-site. Alternatively, families can opt to create individual pieces that will later be joined together to become a unified work of art.

We will have forty art students from Georgia State University assisting with the event, which will be held on the GSU campus on Saturday, October 17th. To maximize the experience of our guests, we need to make sure those volunteers can be spotted quickly! We will be outfitting them in our Paint Love volunteer shirts. We’re still looking for sponsors! A donation of $500 will place your name or logo on the back of our shirts, but sponsorship opportunities start at just $6. If you’re interested in helping fund the event, head over to our donation page or click the button to donate below!

Donate Towards this Event - Built for Connection