As many of you know, I have decided to enter a piece into Art Prize next year. In coming to this decision, I realized that I only want to do a piece if it will make some sort of a difference in someone's life. To that end, my piece will be about the Homeless in Grand Rapids. It will contain the lyrics to the song "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, accompanied by 52 watercolor portraits of the Homeless in Grand Rapids (one to represent each week of the year). I took a mission trip to Africa a few years ago, and while that was life changing for me, I have been searching for a way to serve a little closer to home. There are people right in our back yard who are hurting and struggling. I want to be able to use this gift of art that God has given to me to be able to serve them, even if it is just to let them know, publicly, that they are beautiful to God. After much thought, I came up with the plan to collect donations for Blessing Bags. The donations were collected in the span of about two weeks, and put together during a Girl's Shopping Trip. I would like to once again publicly thank EVERYONE who helped with donating items and assembling the bags!
After a few unsuccessful attempts to contact the Homeless Missions downtown, yesterday arrived with beautiful weather. I couldn't wait any longer! Gayle and I set out to hand out some blessings!!! We loaded up her car with the Blessing Bags and headed downtown. Sara suggested a park, and so that is where we started. I have to admit I was a little nervous at approaching people, but there was no need for that! We introduced ourselves to two gentlemen on a bench, and explained that I am an artist doing a piece for ArtPrize next year. We then explained the piece and asked permission to take their photos. As soon as we did, we got their names and handed them the bags as thanks. It created quite the buzz, and before we knew it, a line had formed :) It was an amazing experience, one I will not soon forget! I was worried that we wouldn't be able to find enough people to meet my goal of 52, sadly that wasn't the case. Since leaving there yesterday, my heart has been so very full, words cannot describe it!
I now have the photos I need to get started on the actual piece, and I am bursting with excitement to get started on it!!! I wanted to put together this blog so people can follow my progress! Feel free to leave comments, and to share this with anyone who might be interested in this project!