Bringing Joy in the Midst of Loneliness

Today’s post is written by guest author, and Grammar School Art teacher, Christine Ewing.

We value art for many reasons at CPLS. We know that studying and appreciating what is true, good, and beautiful feeds our souls in a way that points back to God, our great Creator (Philippians 4:8).

We learn the practical side of art—the creation of lovely things. We watch watercolor paints swirl together, creating new colors. We learn that any subject matter can be tackled when applying the five basic shapes to its rudimentary construction. We learn to “draw what we see and not what we know” in a fashion that trains our eyes to truly see things.

But art isn’t meant for just personal consumption. It is meant to be shared and spread. Imagine if the wonder of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpieces were locked away from the public, unseen by generations of admirers.

We also know that life has been anything but normal for the past eight months. Perhaps no one understands that more than residents in assisted living facilities. Loneliness and isolation have had an open door due to visitation restrictions and cancelled events. Those confined to nursing homes and assisted living facilities could certainly stand to see glimpses of outside beauty while our students have the opportunity and supplies to facilitate this. So that is precisely what we did.

First graders completed oil pastel drawings of fall leaves. Students broke their drawings into two color groupings: warms and cools. Fall leaves were colored in warm hues while the background shapes were completed in cool colors. After making color copies, the students wrote notes of encouragement and prayers on the page borders. These colorful pieces served as placemats and blessed Brewster Place residents dining on their Thanksgiving meal.

Sixth graders recently wrapped up an extended lesson on printmaking. After learning of this unique medium that produces multiple pieces of art from one original source, we delved into carving linocuts, inking plates, and making prints. One of each of the sixth grade artists’ prints was then made into a mounted card. Students wrote letters to Brewster Place residents on their artwork card. Their words and created art were delivered to the residents.

The students loved having such a rewarding purpose for these art projects. We hope to continue letting our creativity be the beauty of which others can appreciate. We are reminded that art is made most beautiful when it is shared and appreciated together. It is in these moments that we see how art and beauty bring us together in the love of God.