Beginning at 11:30 am, today, The Sixteen Days of Hope officially kicked off at Lincoln's Gateway Mall. The purpose to this project is to bring awareness to local non-profit Hope Venture and the work they are doing in Asia and Africa.
A number of people showed up to place glass on the work's 3 panels. I can't even begin to share about the amazing people who stopped by and the different walks of life they came from. Some deeply touched by the young girl who inspired this piece. The young Indian girl who took her life because her family could not afford a notebook and pencil to go to school (worth just 16 cents). Others were excited to be part of something bigger than themselves and seemed to understand that we can all bring hope to our spheres of influence. Others were interested in learning more about Hope Venture and getting involved with the work they are doing.
My friend Carol Welker showed up mid way through the work today for a visit. She is a great photographer and gave of her skills today to capture many of the images in this blog. When I saw the images, I was taken by how she captured exactly what a project like this is about. Yes, it is about the Hope Venture and the work they do, but in a broader scope, it is about people standing next to one another .... working together .... to complete a beautiful work.
Though we began the day wondering if it would really take 16 days to complete this project, I can safely say that yes it will. I am thankful for some amazing artists, colleagues, and friends who came out to not only support the work on the project, but also came to lend a helping hand on crowd control and instructing participants in what to do.
I did learn, once again, how difficult it is to let go of an idea and let God take the process as He determines. This is nothing short of stretching for me. And I think the hardest part of letting go today was to let the project be safe in the hands of my very capable artist friends. And yet, it was super fun watching them proceed in the process in a way they were most comfortable. I look forward to working with them more during our next public time Saturday, July 16 from noon to 4 pm.
As I think on some of the lessons I've learned today and yesterday, I am amazed at how they apply to my life as a mother of boys. Lessons like stepping back, letting go and watching them proceed in the process of life -- even when it's not the process I think it should be. And as I write that, I am amazed at how God wired me to learn life lessons by creating pieces of artwork. To learn about relationships, community, how we walk life and view one another. And how to hold my tongue, my email, or my text to calm down and proceed in patience and grace. It is all very humbling, but lessons I need to learn and wouldn't know I needed if I wasn't creating art and doing that which God made me to do.
I'm tired, could use prayer for stamina for the next 15 days, but overall excited to be starting this journey.
Ann has worked as a professional artist since 2006. She currently works on her own studio artwork as well as large, commercial works and with other artists in any way she can.