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Sarah Kitchen, Middle School Visual Arts Department Chair

You’ve seen it: the colorfully painted windows, the sidewalks full of beautiful

girls painting poles

chalk drawings, and the pop of color from vibrantly painted rocks hidden around town. Being at home over the last few months has allowed people to share their artistic skills in new ways, and these creations helped bring a smile to the face of others in the midst of difficult times. What can your family do this summer that will continue to brighten the world through everyday art? Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t want to paint your windows? In lieu of painted windows, consider hanging painted messages or images in your window. Instead of large paper and canvases, open up those delivery boxes and use cardboard as your canvas. If you don’t want to block the natural light, create a stained-glass effect by using tissue paper paired with wax paper or clear contact paper.
     
  • No rocks to paint? Grab some sticks from your yard and get creative. Add rings of color using washi or duct tape, paint, or wrapped yarn. You could also wrap string or yarn around larger sticks and then hang them from a tree creating a colorful array of rainbows in nature.
     
  • Live near a busy street or sidewalk? Create an outdoor art gallery for others to admire from afar.  Consider hanging artwork (or copies of it) on your fence or the trees in your yard. Have your family come up with artwork that follows a theme such as color (monochromatic), style (abstract), or content (portraits).
     
  • Handy in a woodshop? Similar to the “Free Little Libraries” you see around town; you could create an “Art Box” to be placed near a park or on the side of the road, and then fill it with your own original pieces of artwork to be shared with your community. Draw your favorite cartoon character, create simple coloring pages, write positive messages, or sculpt a 3D piece using Play-Doh or tin foil. Pass your creations along to others with signage encouraging them to contribute by placing their artwork inside the box as well. This could also be a place to consider donating gently used art supplies to others.
     
  • Love getting mail? So do others! Draw portraits of your family members (or yourself) in a realistic, cartoon, or even cubist style, and mail it to them with a note letting them know you are thinking of them. Similarly, you could brighten a stranger’s day by mailing artwork or handcrafted cards to nursing homes, hospitals, or fire stations to spread kindness and encouragement to those in your community.
     
  • Always wanted to learn a new craft? Teach yourself how to sew, cross-stitch, or knit and then share it with those you love. It doesn’t have to be perfect or refined or even recognizable. Create a simple cross-stitched design, knit a wall hanging, or sew into photographs, canvas paintings, or drawings created on paper. Explore something new without feeling like it needs to be perfect.
Girl holding picture of herself

Creating art can be therapeutic and sharing art can bring joy; combine the two with these creative and fun family activities this summer. Be sure to snap a photo and tag DCDS so we can spread the love through social media as well.

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” ~ Mother Teresa