The second day of public work on the Sixteen Days of Hope art piece was a huge success. I'm not sure how many people came, but we were busy helping the public put pieces on the mosaic from noon to past 4 pm. Thanks to a wonderful, artist friend, we didn't run out of blue glass today! I was overwhelmed by the people who came out to help manage the crowds of participants and am thankful for them. Their enthusiastic help has left me speechless. Thank you to my friend Carol Welker who again captured the essence of the day. She captured the family aspect, the generational span, and the community it is taking to finish this piece and the connections it is making in the process.
I am thankful for those who have encouraged me through words, visits, cups of coffee, and prayers throughout this process. I am thankful for a dear friend who stopped today to say hello though she is battling another round of cancer. I am thankful for "Jo" who daily comes for his hug. Today he placed a couple of pieces of glass too! I'm thankful for the events Lincoln hosts that bring people in to town. Today I met people from all over Nebraska who were in town for the Cornhusker State Games and a family from Seattle who were here for a speed skating competition. I'm thankful for Gateway Mall, that they would partner with Hope Venture to make this project a reality. I'm thankful for the families from Lincoln Berean's Vacation Bible School who came out and took part in the progress of the mural today. I'm thankful for a special, creative lady who spent much of the afternoon with us, though I don't know much more than her first name. She added several pieces to the mosaic and at one point I saw her helping others. I'm thankful for the ages of people taking part in this project. I'm thankful for a surprise visit from someone I met on a plane to Minneapolis in June. I am thankful for the coffee shop manager who remembers what coffee I like to drink. I am thankful for the private donor that has made all the supplies for this project possible and for the gifts of glass from artist friends. Many a time that gift kept us working during public times. I'm thankful for the opportunity to meet new people and spend time with them.
I'm thankful for the leaders of Hope Venture and how they seek to value all the people they encounter. I have definitely been valued in the process. Part of that has come through them letting me do exactly what I am gifted and equipped to do -- create works of art.
I am thankful that God gave us art and creativity - and that it is much more than a consumable commodity. It is something that can bring people together, inspire them, and deeply touch the soul. I'm thankful that God can use me right where I am as an artist. I am thankful that He makes every person on purpose and for a purpose. I am thankful that He delights in those who earnestly seek Him.
I am overwhelmed by the support and awareness being raised for Hope Venture. I'm astounded by the interest and excitement of creating the artwork. And, personally, I am beyond words at the encouragement of friends and family as we continue on this journey of 16 Days of Hope.
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.