“This world is but a canvas to our imagination” - Henry David Thoreau
In a world of likes and follows, Snapchats and Periscope videos, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of lasting images. The internet and social media has given the youth of today unprecedented power of expression, and has greatly expanded the notion of “community”. While the benefits of this shift are innumerable, at Imagination International, Inc., we feel it is equally important to engender in our youth an appreciation for the permanence of physical art and community -- paint on a wall, a lasting expression of a particular group of people in a particular time and place…
Across the globe, we have seen the positive impact of online communities -- their ability to enact social change, to to offer a safe place for like minded people -- but your Instagram followers cannot feed you when you’re hungry, nor offer you shelter in a storm. Only your neighbors can do that.
The Imagination Mural Project allows children to contribute something permanent to their community; something they can take pride in for years to come, something that in turn allows the community to take pride in its children. And when those children have grown into adults, that mural will still be there as a physical reminder of their connection to the community.
By working with schools and youth programs, we hope to give children a chance to express their creativity, while at the same time strengthening the community as a whole. If we can inspire even one student, or one community member, to make the world a better place through art, then our time and money will have been well spent…Image
We have partnered with several schools and youth organizations to bring in muralist, Bayne Gardner, who specializes in making art with children. Bayne lays out the mural and does the background painting, then the kids add their own artwork into the final composition.
"Art impacts a child by giving them the freedom to express themselves. Seeing art and collaborating with artists helps them understand that a lot of this world is created through art and creativity.” -- Bayne Gardner
In a time of shrinking budgets and scarce resources for art education we feel it is essential, along with our partners at Forrest Paint and the Eugene Education Foundation, to offer this program at no cost to the school or community.
“Teachers have done their best to take on the burden and provide art, but it’s not the same as having a professional artist who understands at a deeper level how to do art well with children.” -- Brian Gulka, 5th Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary
If you are part of an organization that wants to participate in the Imagination Mural Project, please reach out to us by sending an email to Hillary@imaginationinternational.com, and visit our Youth Education page to see other ways iii promotes art and education within the arts community!