Monday, April 9, 2012

The Birth of A Tree . . .And A Fort.

  A few years ago - I was commissioned by the Salvation Army to create some art work to decorate a new Youth Center that had been built in my city of Portland, Oregon. The piece above, was one of several from the original commission.

About four weeks ago, they contacted me again. This time they wanted a wall mural.
Hmmm . . .let me think about that.

So what are we doing on the mural?

Two of the directors of the Center shared some statistics about the Youth Center.
They serve a large number of at-risk children and youth every day.
These kids struggle with very real issues related to . . .you name it.
They come to this Youth Center after school and in the evenings.
They get homework help.
The make crafts.
They play games.
They get to be with caring individuals rather going home to an empty house after school.
The Youth Center is a safe place.
Therefore, they wanted a symbol of a safe place for kids.
They also teach about  the symbolism of a strong tree.
Establish strong roots in your morals and belief system.
Then you can stretch out your branches.
Once you have established your roots and grown and reached high with your branches . . .
you can enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
A great message.
And what offers kids a better safe haven than a tree house!

What follows below is the birth of a tree and tree house . . .

Involved in this project . . . 2 ladders, several paint brushes, over 20 feet of wall space that reached 10 feet high, 586 leaves (yes we counted), about 42 hours of labor over 3 days, and the unselfish support and help of my daughter Cierra and my Mr. Man, Jon.
Could NOT have accomplished this project in the this amount of time with their help.

Now onto the next project . . .


Giggles said...

Okay now this brings tears to my eyes!! Perfect! What an inspiration for kids! Imagine the joy they will feel with that tree welcoming them!! Wonderful symbolism!! Just beautiful....kudos to your daughter and hubby for their support and help!! Love this!!

I have done a painting called three strong trees for my powder room which represents my family! Trees are very significant to me too!!

Hugs Giggles

Cheryl Mellema said...

Laurie...this is absolutely the best representation of a loving safe place for children to come and grow - to be welcomed by the outstreched tree branches like a huge hug.

You, your daughter and husband are my heroes! I can not believe you finished this project so fast! I've been working on my butterfly all of March and now into April (I'm a slow painter I guess).

Come take a peek http:/

An'Angelia Thompson said...

What a wonderful addition to their center! Congratulations on your commission :o)