sculpture

Art Impacts... Art strengthens communication for kids who've experienced domestic violence.

Discover more about Paint Love's impact.

Paint Love utilizes the power of the arts to make an impact on youth who are facing some of life’s most difficult circumstances. It is our hope that every child, teen, and young adult that experiences a Paint Love program will discover inner strength, to help them face the adversity in their life. 

One demographic we work with is children who have experienced domestic violence.  Through our partnership with the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, we have been able to carefully curate programs that address the specific needs of this group. 

Kids who have experienced violence at home often find it challenging or even physically impossible to talk about their experiences. Trauma such as domestic violence can directly interfere with the part of the brain that manages language capacity, impeding development and leaving children with limited capacity to communicate verbally. Artistic expression engages parts of the brain that don’t rely on verbalization, so art can help them to find their  voice, and know that what they have to say matters.

Artist Nikita Raper led kids at Camp PEACE in creating these amazing clay platters. They designed the patterns, cut and glazed the pieces, and Nikita fired them in the kiln, bringing out these incredible colors. Research shows that allowing kids who’ve experienced trauma like those we serve with Camp PEACE, the chance to achieve a sense of mastery and participation in something they enjoy, helps them learn that their efforts matter, and they matter.

Camp PEACE is the summer program of the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. WRCDV “strive[s] to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the diverse community of battered women and their children with programs that promote safety, compassion, connection, advocacy, and prevention.” 


Because of the generosity of the Paint Love community, we have been able to offer them over 20 art projects, to serve over 200 students over three years! 

On Being Authentic: Masks with Kim Stuart and Artfully Made

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Happy New Year! Julie and I are excited to be back at it in 2016. What a beautiful year this is shaping up to be! If you haven’t heard, we made our year end fundraising goal! We have an official Thank You post in the works with all the details, so stay tuned! We are so, so, so thankful! We're so excited to see what incredible projects we have this year with the talented youth of Atlanta!

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I wanted to kick things off this year with a project about authenticity. Kim Stuart led this 2 part project last year with Amy Myers’ Artfully Made group at Powder Springs Elementary. We talked about what it means to be authentic and the masks we sometimes wear. One thing we talked about was the difference between wearing a mask and modeling a specific behavior. One girl gave the example that being studious and calm while working on school work isn’t the same as wearing a mask - wearing a mask is acting like someone you're not. I thought it was awesome that, even at a young age, these ladies recognize that there are so many different sides to ourselves. 

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To start the project, Kim talked about her mask that she made. We all shared examples of times when we weren’t being our most authentic selves. We talked about the reasons why we felt like we needed to wear masks. After our talk, the girls cut out and painted the base layer of their masks. We used cardboard so we could make them BIG!

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We painted and added eyes, ears, mouths, and noses. Then we glued everything together. It was such a fun project, both light hearted and thoughtful at the same time, our favorite kind. We spent two project days working on these. I like that we were able to spend extra time discussing and working on something the girls were really proud of! It has been wonderful to work with this group throughout the year. We are so thankful to know them and looking forward to more projects with them this year! 

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What we decided is that authenticity looks different to everyone because everyone is different.

The best thing we can do is to discover our authentic selves and then share it with the world in a kind and caring way. I hope this is what 2016 holds for us: let us recognize the awesomeness within and be brave enough to share it!

Wishing you an authentic and brave 2016!