Today’s post comes from Chloe Seal, initiative leader of 3 Bags in 2 Days. Art in the Park is a one-a-month event in Walker Park in South Fayetteville. We invite the under-resourced in our area to come to the park and to paint. We provide all the art supplies and serve dinner as well. People can come for a few hours and just be. People can come and let out whatever is going on in their lives and have a chance to freely express themselves through painting.
Tonight was so special. 6 months into Art in the Park and I couldn’t be any more in love. As if I’m not already borderline obsessed with it, tonight was something incredible. I can’t really put words to it or explain why it was so different. Every month it just seems to find it’s rhythm a little better and people start to feel truly welcome.
The best I can try to communicate about tonight would be the rich, deep community that could be felt. People came to paint and to eat, but the evidence of community and relationships could be felt by all. There was just a presence of calmness, trust, and abounding love. After all was said and done, a few of us looked at each other with the same thoughts of….wow. How on earth did Art in the Park come to be the way it was tonight? How did this incredible community come together in one place the way it did? How did art truly bring us all together?
I think this sense of community carried on through every avenue. People’s canvases seemed more vibrant than usual. The food seemed extra yummy. People clapped and cheered even when someone else won the duffle bag in the raffle. People helped each other get more paint or carry their stuff to the table. People laughed louder than ever. People encouraged others more than usual. New friendships were formed. 150 canvases were made beautiful. 120 lives changed. 120 people were just able to love and be loved.
It was the best example of community that I have ever seen. Truly putting others first in a way that I have never witnessed before. A random, broken, overlooked, ragged and simply beautiful group of misfits (myself included) has taught me more about life and people that I could have ever imagined.