With the rise of social media, people around the world are able to connect not only for similar interests (i.e. travel, food, lifestyle ;)) but especially for those going through health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and more – social media can become a sort of community support system.
In the Bay Area, I came across an event hosted by Kids & Art through social media where a friend and talented poet, Silvi Alcivar was taking part. I got the chance to attend the following event with the theme of Wearable Art with local artists Diana Krupka (I became fascinated by needle felting), Artist Mary Claire and Shiraaz with acrylic paint, Patty Owyang creating Andy Warhol inspired block prints with footwear as inspiration :), Mary Claire Desoto creating beautiful canvas art, and Sonoko Konishi creating felt hats! All of this artistic goodness in the atmosphere of Pixar. Pure magic. I was hoping to bring my niece but my true “kidult” self was revealed..
So I guess I should also mention that most of the children that participate have been touched by cancer, either themselves, a sibling, or friend. But in hindsight, if I did not know this, I would not have guessed or been able to tell. Kids are kids. And what I find is that when kids are faced with disease (whether themselves or someone close to them), they become very mature. I was given a thorough explanation of how the “business” of Rainbow Looms works, a conversation sharing a meaningful quote on a beautiful painting by Shayaan, and in the corner a child was getting excited to see his Pikachu hat complete, where he was involved through the design process.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
Art is a creative outlet. And this form of community is special. I was fortunate to be a part of it.
At the end of the year, all the art created throughout the year is auctioned off and proceeds go back toward bringing more free art workshops around the Bay Area, special art packages sent to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Long Stay Unit, and also other supporting cancer charities! How awesome is that.
The next upcoming event will take place Sunday, February 9th, 2014 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. this time at the Redwood City Art Center. With Valentine’s around the corner, this event’s theme will be Paint your HEART away! Preference is given to kids (touched by cancer and their care circle), but if you would like to create art for a great cause (would like to get involved as a mentor/volunteer), have a spare afternoon – do come and share with your friends :) Read their story.