The Lola Tessie Community Art Project
WHAT IS IT?
We are creating an art installation centered on joy, love and connection through the art of acrylic flow/fluid painting. The creation of over 100 paintings involving 50+ members of our community in Fall of 2020, brought individuals and families out of their homes and into an outdoor space, and in some cases online with friends, in an act of self-care and community. We wanted to provide an opportunity for carefree play in the midst of an unprecedented period of isolation and anxiety. When we actively choose to refill our own cup, we are better able to fill others as well. This is the intention behind The Lola Tessie Community Art Project.
The free arts project took seed from a growing concern regarding isolation and disconnection. The ever-growing occurrence amongst people, resulting in depression and suicide, has sky-rocketed over the last decade. In an unprecedented time in our lives of physical isolation and “social distancing,” we are using art to connect with family, friends, and neighbors. Participating in art, especially free-flowing abstract art like Acrylic Flow - the Art of Letting Go, helps to counteract these feelings of anxiety and isolation as students must resist the desire to control the process of painting, and begin to connect with themselves and others in this special community created from creative expression, love, and acceptance. There are simply no mistakes... just happy and serendipitous "accidents." The real question is WHY NOT?
WHAT DID WE ACCOMPLISH & WHERE ARE WE NOW?
From August to November 2020, 50+ people came together on weekends to create paintings. Most had never experienced this type of art practice before. Some were nervous, some were excited, some were just happy to be outdoors painting or reconnecting with new/old friends. All got to experience the joy of creating artwork for themselves and artwork for the community project. Together we created nearly 200 paintings. Half of the paintings will be completed with resin/varnish making them ready for sale/auction. When the paintings are complete, we will create the art installation and hold one or more special events in person and/or online to sell and auction off the individual pieces. (If you are interested in helping complete the paintings or with the installation, event planning, auction, etc., please contact Dawn!) The money raised will be donated to organizations working in the community to support young people and mental health services. If you would like to be added to our email list for updates on this event/auction, please click here.
WHO IS LOLA TESSIE?
The namesake of the project (Lola Tessie, or Grandma Tessie) is in honor of my mom who I lost in 1990 when I was 14 years old. To me, she was the MOST amazing and joyful woman ever to walk the planet. She was warm, caring and welcoming to everyone. Despite her outgoing and warm personality, she often felt incredibly isolated. I've found that so many people, including those you'd least expect - those who are very social and joyful, often feel very isolated and overwhelmed by life. When I get lost in painting, I’m present to nothing else in those moments except the child-like awe of what I’m witnessing. Acrylic flow helps me practice letting go of the thoughts and worries that plague my mind - of the things that overwhelm me - and to just be present to the moment. I know in those moments, I'm like a child again. Through the practice and sharing of this joyful art form, the same opportunities become available for others. Acrylic flow painting is hard to describe in words... it's simply a joyous experience.
Thank you for being with me. Thank you for painting with me, donating money and supplies, helping me with this website, taking pictures at events, bringing food and drink to celebrate, or just reaching out to say you love what we're doing. Whether you can be a part of this particular project or not, just by reading this, you are already a part of its intention. I can't wait for you to help share that intention with the rest of the world. If we have JOY, why not spread it?? Please message me to find out how to be a part of this community art project, join our email list, and/or check our blog as we document and share what unfolds in this grand experiment of spreading Joy through Art. Love Always, Dawn