Tuesday, August 10, 2010

As if art could make a difference...

Wall murals have always been a way to use art to empower people. Does that sound ridiculous? Hard to believe? Check it out...

While the Hogar Murals were a great experience, they actually came along AFTER we had already started another mural project at CIPI. This project has been around for a while, even at CIPI. In 2007 the HELP team here painted some great murals in the rooms for the special needs kids.

The CIPI director Marielos Bonilla, was excited from the beginning of the summer for us to help out with more a more encouraging environment for the kids here. CIPI is a place for many kids from pretty heartbreaking backgrounds, all victims of some form of abuse, and when victims are brought to a place that resembles a prison, get thrown into a uniform, and have little to no personal attention, it becomes really easy to begin to feel like you're being punished for what other people have done to you. The purpose of the wall murals this year was to demonstrate the huge capacity and potential that these kids have.

We chose a giant wall in the girls comedor or dining hall. Marielos expected (pardon my paraphrasing) to see after a few weeks of work some images of fruit and vegetables, with maybe some cake and pizza sprawled across this huge surface. What she didn't expect was what we came up with.

Meet Jeanette Langston:

Residents work-of-arter and mastermind behind the CIPI Paint projects. Jeanette took the time to interview all the girls, and create a collage of ideas of what the girls envisioned as their desired careers and lives. Topics ranged from nursing, teaching, art, acting, dancing, motherhood, etc...

The girls took a liking to the design before it was even on the wall.

As the girls helped create this masterpiece, they felt empowered to be part of something bigger than themselves, and to be helping create something that would last forever to help future generations of girls at CIPI struggling with the same types of trials that they have suffered through.

STUMBLING BLOCK! The paint that was already on the wall wasn't happy with what we were putting over it, so it all had to come off, that was lots of fun.

Jeanette and other team members spent hours with the select girls that were responsible enough to help with the wall. This group of girls was really special and exemplar for the rest of the kids at CIPI, as well as for us.

It wasn't long before the wall was scraped, sealed, and primed and the painting could begin.

The mural took a little longer than we had anticipated, but looked incredible. As soon as it was finished Marielos organized an inauguration for the wall. The director of ISNA was invited as well as many others in charge of other homes around the city. It was a great day, and a huge boost for the HELP team to see a project reach completion.

It was great to see the ownership the girls took in the mural, and they all saw themselves as one of the successful women depicted there as well.


Mindy said...

I LOVE it. Way to go Jeanette! Great way to empower now and in the future!

alexeiflores said...

Hi! My name is Alexei, I am in charge of comunication for Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. I want to contact you because theres is another organization that is interest about help. My Cel phone es 7400-8694.
It was nice have you in San Vicente helping to build the houses for the families, thanks all of you.

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