Last week I was artist in residence at Jacob Hiatt Magnet School in Worcester, MA. I worked with 150 1st and 3rd graders to create a Community Mandala Weaving. This school community is rich with diversity and enthusiasm from principal Datta all the way down to the pre-K students, including all the staff and faculty. We worked hard for three days to create this magnificent, radiant Mandala which will adorn their school walls for generations to enjoy.
While I was at Jacob Hiatt School I was snowed in for one day – and enjoyed the time to catch up on other on-going projects – including Well Used, Well Loved This community art project has brought forth a deep engagement among many of the 43 participants. We have a (closed) Face Book group where we can safely share photos and words in response to my prompts and questions.
We also have a blog that is where I anonymously share stories and photo. Some of the questions I have asked are ~What/who in your life do you perceive as old? What/who do you perceive as beautiful? Do you see any connection between feeling attractive and feeling loved? The answers have been wide ranging – some surprises too!
Prompt #3 was -What connections do you see between being attractive/beautiful and being loved?
If I feel beautiful/attractive/appealing to others – will this mean I will be loved?
Here’s a quote from one of the project participants “I encourage everyone to ask young children and the men in your lives what their response was to writing prompt #3. My family’s responses were drastically different compared to my response. Tonight i realized that the passing of time, our society, and our own inner demons create our insecurities related to female beauty.”