Gift the JOY of Play…
By: Angela Lyonsmith, Artist-In-Residence
The last week has presented us with unprecedented experiences and an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the current crisis with calm and compassion. As a parent, daughter, teacher and artist there is much on my heart but also resources that I believe we can offer as caregivers and makers. Engagement with the arts can be a meaningful way to maintain connection and build gratitude, hope and resiliency.
My family has been inspired by a movement in Italy to create signs with a simple rainbow image and the slogan “Andrà Tutto Bene” as a means of encouraging and extending care to each other. The literal translation is “Everything will be fine” but colloquially can mean “hang in there” “it is going to get better” “everything will eventually be all right.” Read more about the “Andrà Tutto Bene” movement in Italy by following this link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/everything-will-be-alright-italians-share-slogan-of-hope-in-face-of-coronavirus-crisis
I discussed this strategy of spreading hope with my children and we decided it was important to make and post a sign in our front window too. My three daughters, ranging in age from 10 to 5 years old, decided that our sign should have a large rainbow, four girls, music and the message “Hold on to HOPE.”
We hope you will feel inspired to make your own sign of hope to share in your community too. You could make a simple sign on a piece of paper with markers and crayons, paint on cardboard, collage rainbow colored paper together or use chalk to share your message on the sidewalk. The important thing is to use what you have and to figure out what you want to include in your message of hope.
Making a sign can also offer you an opportunity to practice design skills by measuring, planning, making decisions about layout and lettering. This skill building is one of the many benefits of the opportunity that making together can provide. Importantly, it can create a space for discussing what scares us, a place to be curious about and learn what is most standing out to our children at this time, a way to model how we want to respond, practice problem solving and to meaningfully use art to spread care beyond ourselves.
Art provides us an important way to inspire hope, offer kindness to our community, and engender a feeling of togetherness even in the midst of social distancing and uncertainty.
If you are inspired too, please join in!
Most importantly, hold on to HOPE.
Hello, I’m Angela Lyonsmith, a mom of three amazing humans, an artist and art therapist. I have worked as an art therapist for two decades and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the graduate art therapy program for over 10 years. I am thrilled to be the Artist-In-Residence at DuPage Children’s Museum for January – March 2020. On Instagram, follow @artwithpeople.