Buford Middle School students recently put marker to canvas during their end-of-year festival to respond to the prompt "draw a place in Charlottesville that is important to you." Draw Charlottesville, in collaboration with Buford art teacher Daisa Pascall, provided individual canvases, to be joined together as a mural, and students brought thoughtfulness and creativity. The students' artwork, ranging from quick sketches to detailed drawings, included the Cultivate Charlottesville schoolyard garden, Bodo's, movie theaters, homes, and much more. Buford staff also joined in, drawing aspects of the Buford community that are important to them. Students and staff took home Buford postcards, drawn by Jessica and Andrea, to color and send to friends or family.
We loved watching the blank canvases get transformed with color, line, and insight into the students' lives. Many thanks to Buford and Daisa for inviting us to help students celebrate the end of the school year!
Each month, Andrea and I assign a theme to help us create content, focus in on our drawings and learn more about what is going on in our city. For February, we landed on "love" and for March we picked "hope." When we chose the theme for March, it seemed pretty bleak in the middle of February. It was hard to imagine things like schools opening, warmer weather, flowers, more vaccinations... but here we are at the end of March. Our city school kids are back in school, the weather is warm (for the most part), we planted a few flowers, our friends and family are getting vaccinated, and we even headed back to the Farmer's Market.
We also celebrated one year of Draw Charlottesville. We were so hopeful when we launched the project in March 2020. We went through many iterations until we landed on our mission to share artwork featuring places and spaces in Charlottesville that are meaningful in various ways to our community. We have explored and learned about so many amazing local businesses, non profits, green spaces and more. Social media has been our main outlet and connection with other local artists. Overall, we are hopeful (did you see what I did there??) for what this next year will bring.
We recently added a collaborate tab - check it out if you are interested in working with us or partnering. The list isn't exhaustive so if you have an idea, don't be shy! One fun and unexpected thing from posting our artwork on Instagram is the interest in buying prints. We now have a formal process and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to one local non profit each month. This month we are making a donation to Cultivate Charlottesville so thank you to all you generous Instagram followers! If you see a post and are interested, you can email us or DM us through Instagram.
Ok everyone - on to April! Tune in this weekend to see what we have planned!
Ninth graders in Tandem Friends School's Foundations of Art class, led by instructor Lou Haney, recently undertook an art project in which they responded to one of Draw Charlottesville's current prompts: "Draw a place that represents what Charlottesville means to you,""Draw a place in Charlottesville that brings you joy," or "Draw a place in Charlottesville that you would reimagine."
A few drawings include Live Arts, drawn by K.T. because "I have had many wonderful theatrical experiences there, both as an actor and audience member." L.P drew the downtown mall because "When I first moved here this was one of the first places I went to." L.F. selected The Corner because "It fills me with nostalgia since we’ve driven by it so often. It also makes me happy since my mom always tells me fun stories about The Corner back when she was a student at UVA."
We were able to hear more about the students' work during one of their (virtual) classes and had so much fun getting to know them better through art!
What a difference a day makes has taken on an entirely new meaning over the past two weeks as we have all had our daily lives turned upside down due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic and have started to better understand the collective impact of the individual choices we make over the course of a day. When we began envisioning Draw Charlottesville we imagined our community being inspired to look around and use art as avenue for closer observation of our daily lives and our broader community. We now see the opportunity to also use art to amplify opportunities to help our community get through this.
We are grateful to see Charlottseville coming together during this crisis to support each other – whether it’s working tirelessly to provide essential services, running or supporting local businesses, or when possible, doing our part by staying home. This week we began using drawing as a way of raising awareness on how to help our community while calming ourselves through art and service – such as volunteering or donating to help the PB&J Fund, Charlottesville City Schools, and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network to feed local schoolchildren, the important work of organizations such as the Blue Ridge Area Food bank to address food insecurity, and the need to support local small businesses.
Though uncertainty of the future looms strong, we take solace in knowing that we are all in this together and appreciate the opportunity to have moments to get outside and notice things we are normally rushing past.
We encourage you to take a deep breath and draw, to help yourself and to help our community. We hope you will join us in this strange journey we’re in…..tag @draw.charlottesville on Instagram or email us…