Welcome to Heard’s Visual Arts gallery. In these posts you’ll find images of our client’s original art. Enjoy!
Each artist whose likeness and/or work is posted on our site has signed a Heard media release or verbally given permission for their likeness and/or the artistic work they created to be posted on this site and shared via our social media platforms.
March 27, 2023: We admit, rather sheepishly, that we’ve gotten a little behind in our online postings. How else could we excuse NOT posting these fabulous art projects that our art teacher (and paper art fanatic) Alison McHugh brought to the Carpenter’s Shelter? Not just once, mind you, but twice! And each time Alison cleverly wove in a holiday theme into the work. To wit:
It’s the new year (well it was…) and what better way to start off a new year than to create your very own word to get you through 2023? Admit it – you’re motivated just by reading what our clients created!
And then it was St. Patrick’s Day! You can’t let that slip by without a tribute, can you? How about a rainbow (get it?) scrapbook with a memory-themed quote on the front cover. Cute, isn’t it? And created by a sentimental 12-year-old. And she wasn’t the only one having fun. Alison told us, “That was the MOST fun I’ve had at the Carpenters Shelter!! [Her mother said], ‘We might not be here next month, but I’ll definitely bring her back for your class.’ She was as sweet as pie! The little boy LOVED trying to ‘drive me crazy’ (his words) and followed me out of the class, joking with me.”
March 3 and 10, 2023: It’s Women’s History (or Her-Story) Month, and we couldn’t wait to see what our creative visual arts teacher Sharmila Karamchandani would come up with for her Fun Fridays at Casa Chirilagua. And she went her usual waaaaaay above and beyond, as usual. These last two Fridays (she alternates weekly between grades 1-3 and 4-5), she challenged the kids to make stick puppets of women in their lives who had inspired them and they would like to honor. And the assortment they created! Some drew their grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and cousins. Others drew their teachers, two drew Helen Keller, and we even got Columbian singer Karol G. Very Fun Fridays indeed!
First, second, and third graders proudly showing off their creations. Helen Keller Mom and grandma, who is visiting this weekend.
Karol G. and mom Her sister, who really cares for her. Mom, who cares for and plays with him, and makes amazing papusas.
February 17, 2023: If you could be the president for a day, what would you do? What one-time executive order would you declare? Our teaching artist Sharmila Karamchandani asked our Casa Chirilagua kids that question, while ingeniously encouraging them to create a 3D log cabin, just like the one President Lincoln grew up in, out of index cards (how in the world does she come up with these amazing ideas)? Sharmila also discussed with them how President Lincoln’s parents were poor and he borrowed books to educate himself and with determination and hard work he became a United States president. Lesson? No matter your circumstances, you can do and become anything you want to!
November and December, 2022: Sharmila had gratitude on her mind and she finished up the year with her Fun Fridays assignment with the Casa Chirilagua kids. In the first three pictures, she asked the kids to create what they are grateful for in two drawings – one picture of what they are grateful for that can buy and one picture of what they are grateful for that they cannot buy.
Now take a looks – it sure seems to us that the kids were much more focused on emphasizing what they cannot buy – family, friends, faith, pets! There’s never a bad time to feel grateful, right?
And the last photo of that little fella proudly showing us his green creation? That was from Sharmila’s November 11 class, where she asked the kids to say “thank you” to veterans. Kinda makes your heart melt, doesn’t it?
November 16, 2022: Just because you haven’t heard from us in awhile doesn’t mean we aren’t hard at work! And we’ll bet no one has worked harder these last few months than our Heard artist teacher Sharmila Karamchandani! Our partner Casa Chirilagua specifically asked for her when their after school program, Fun Fridays, started up again late last August. It was challenging, we told her – she would have two half-hour periods with up to 19 kids each (yes, each. For a total of 38 in a hour!). Could she do it?
Why of course she could! And when it was time to bring in a new art program (we usually switch out every month or two), the kids weren’t having it! They wanted Miss Sharmila, and she’s with her kids til Christmas break. And maybe after that? Who knows?
What we do know is that these kids love her! And we have proof – when a scheduling conflict caused a few kids to miss her class, one little guy had a meltdown at his desk. And why wouldn’t he? Each week Sharmila figures out how to get them to create something fun and interesting in just 25 minutes, using things most of us toss out – paper plates, toilet paper holders, paper bags, and straws. Add some paint, markers, and glue, and voila! Magic!
We’ve compiled a short “best of” here. Can you match the photo to the project?
Friends of Guest House, August 24 and 31, 2022: When the rest of the Friends of Guest House staff saw what fun their residents in their Workforce Development program had with our Heard art and paper crafting events, they wanted in on the fun! So, they asked if our Heard artist Alison McHugh would want to do a special class for the rest of the group. And of course we couldn’t refuse. In fact, at their request, we held two events – one on August 24 and the second on August 31.
It was two nights of fun, creativity, and finding your voice. And, a night of creating your personal mantra to stay inspired. Who can’t use a little more of that? Do you think they had fun? You tell us! Judging by their smiles we’re saying YES!
July 27, 2022 – “It honestly feels like Christmas when someone creates something new and I get to see it. I love this group!” And that super-positive statement didn’t even come from our Friends of Guest House clients who created their “Guiding Word” canvases – it came from our art teacher Alison McHugh!
“They’re creating something never before seen in the history of the Universe. That’s powerful and I get to witness it,” Alison continued. “[It’s] awesome to be a small part of the journey for these women. I’m humbled and grateful….I definitely get more than I give when I work with this group. They filled me right to overflowing!!” Alison continued on a Facebook post.
Can we just tell you how happy it makes US to know our art team loves what they do so much? And what about our clients? Can you just feel the joy and power? What word guides YOU?
July 20 – 2022: Another win for our artist Alison McHugh today – scrapbooking with the residents of Friends of Guest House! Alison is a scrapbooking and paper craft fiend, and she was determined that our Friends of Guest House friends were as well! And success! As you can see from these happy faces (even the masked ones), everyone had a fabulous time. “SO MUCH FUN” Alison told me later. See what bringing creativity, self expression, and joy to people does? Does it get better? We don’t think so!
July 13, 2022 – Our artist Alison McHugh’s “I Am” boxes were such a hit at Casa Chirilagua that she brought it to Friends of Guest House yesterday. So many things to love about this paper craft, especially the very different ways the women express their secret selves – only they can see what’s inside the box unless they choose to share it (and we’re so glad they did)!
July 6, 2022 – One of the best things about summer is that Alison teaches for us – her day job is as an art therapist with Fairfax County Public Schools. Today she led eight Friends of Guest House residents through making their personal, motivational easel cards. Imagine one of these on your dresser, encouraging you every morning! Wouldn’t you fee motivated every single day?
And our Friends of Guest House friends? They LOVED them! Some shared their quotes and art with the group, and they all are looking forward to Alison’s class next week! What do you think she will do?