Community Gifts of Art

My greatest joys in my professional life often involve making art with others for others. The projects often involve collaborating with my students, but they’ve also included my dear family, close friends, and complete strangers.

This page highlights just a few of the community art projects that I have been privileged to be a part of over the past few years and give a behind the scenes look at the process, the final project, and the many talented and loving participants who created them.

Two Families Use Facebook Fundraisers to Support Art Classes at Nursing Home

In the fall of 2019, two families asked if they could each do a Facebook fundraiser to help underwrite my programs so more residents at the nursing home could continue to paint after our summer grant from Dementia Society of America had run out. You can imagine my joy – and that of the residents who got to keep painting!

Here are just a few of the happy faces and beautiful paintings which resulted from over $2,000 of kindness and generosity! I’m so thankful for all who have allowed me to take pictures so that I can share their joy and mine with you.

“Funny Birds” –A Collaborative Community Gift of Art

"Funny Birds"

This is one of the eight funny, multi-media collage paintings we made for local nursing home residents.

This project was a gift for local nursing home residents, and represents the collaborative creative efforts of nearly 25 of my students, from preschoolers to retired seniors, and took 5 months to complete in three different venues!  It features 8 large canvases featuring trees and birds in winter and spring scenes, including baby birds in blossoming trees. We began by creating winter scenes of birds “dressed up” for winter. But the project took months to complete so we included some spring scenes as well since we delivered the work in the spring. The icing on the cake was meeting the recipients of our gift and treating them to a variety show at the same time!  


Community Gift of Art– “Butterfly Garden”

The painting at left is one of six panels that are a part of this project which began in June 2009. Nearly 30 people contributed their talent and love to offer a tangible gift of love to shut-in residents in our community. Children of all ages, my art therapy clients (senior adults with mobility, sight and memory impairments at the Loudoun County Adult Day Center), as well as visitors to my home studio, participated with me. It took us three months to complete. I hope you’ll take a moment to see the full project. It’s sure to warm your heart!

Displayed at Loudoun Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Leesburg, VA and then at Blue Ridge Hospice in Winchester, VA.

Watch the slide show (requires Flash)


Community Gift of Art–“Mary’s House of Hope”

Five of my art students (ages 6-9) worked collaboratively with me in 2008 to create a house portrait for a local transitional shelter for homeless women with very young children.

This project features the work of students in my Budding Artists class. Each semester we pool together our creativity to bless others in our community through an “Art to Heart” project using our skills as artists. During our spring 2008 semester, we decided that we wanted to do something for homeless families in our local area. We decided to do a house portrait for the residents staying at Mary’s House of Hope, a transitional shelter for moms with very young children in Loudoun County. We combined soft pastels, oil pastels and markers with hearts of joy and love to create this one-of-a-kind gift of art.