National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
January 26, 2018
Supporting the arts has been an important venture for GFWC from its beginning, and clubs continue to find new ways to do so. In honor of January 31st being National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, we want to celebrate the artistic projects that GFWC clubs have done.
In addition to holding Arts & Crafts contests for many years, the GFWC Woman’s Club of Tarpon Springs (Florida) have also held workshops for using alcohol ink to paint on tiles. One of those workshops benefited the Hacienda Girls Ranch, a foster care group home and emergency shelter for young girls that fundraising by the GFWC Florida Federation helped launch. Another one of their fundraisers was a workshop for painting wine glasses, combining creative expression with service.
The Woman’s Club of Westminster (Maryland) has sponsored art exhibits for six years. Each exhibit features media done by local artists in various mediums, including photography, acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, pencil, colored pencil, computer generated art, giclée photography, and basket weaving.
It began when their Arts Committee decided the utilitarian walls of their meeting space in the Carroll County Non-Profit building could use a transformation. They began to exhibit three or four art shows every year to celebrate local artwork. To date, they’ve provided a free exhibit space for over 142 local artists! Other groups who use the building routinely thank the Woman’s Club of Westminster for providing art that gives them daily pleasure.
GFWC Mississippi President Tinker Forrester’s creativity was fostered by her grandmother. She grew up watching her create intricately designed quilts and make all of her clothes without a pattern. In 2006 when Tinker was the arts chairman of her local club, she invited a guest speaker from EXPRESS Yourself! Art, and was touched by the concept. The program provides individuals with cerebral palsy the opportunity to express themselves on canvas with the assistance of a trackers, who are trained to execute the vision of individuals with severe disabilities.
Eventually Tinker became Mississippi President-elect, and knew she wanted her administration to focus on EXPRESS Yourself! Art. She reconnected with the head of the program to find out where the greatest impact could be made. When she found out that the program receives no funding, operating strictly on grants they’re able to get and part of the proceeds of art sales (with the rest going to the artists), Tinker decided to raise enough money to fund an endowment administered by the MSU Foundation so the program could be sustainable.
Tinker is thrilled that the endowment commitment has been three-quarters funded so far. But the most rewarding part has been the bond she’s developed with each of the eight artists currently involved in the program. One of her personal goals was to learn how to be a tracker for the artists, and to date, she has tracked for four of them!
We encourage you to take this Inspire Your Heart with Art Day as an opportunity to develop new ways to inspire others with a combination of art and the GFWC spirit!
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Mary Lou Parks
For accomplished author and GFWC clubwoman Mary Lou Parks, writing her club history, HerStory, was a journey that formed lasting friendships and a new perspective on women’s history.
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