Art … A Path to Inner Beauty and Joy
Once or twice a year I visit the school where Shelley teaches in Newark, New Jersey. The school is a private school dedicated to offering an excellent education to students from families whose income falls below the poverty level. The classes are small. The total number of students in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades is nineteen. Twelve of those students came to school on Monday, a holiday, to paint with me. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t do this every day of my life.
I taught a shortened version of The Color Scheme Game Workshop. Working in groups of four, the students mixed colors to share with one another.
Not only did the students share the cups of paint, they also shared the brushes. I assumed that by the end of the two and a half hour workshop, the cups of paint would all be shades of brown and gray. I was wrong. At the end of the day, the cups of paint were perfectly pure in color. This was a first! This group of students has mastered the art of cooperation and respect for one another.
When I return in the spring I will bring better paints with me, paints that have more pigment and less binder, paints that don’t slip all over the paper. These children deserve to experience painting with quality brushes and quality paints. They gave their best to me and I will give my best back to them.
I’m already looking forward to returning in the spring.