“My experience of creating with these extraordinary children, two of my core beliefs about art have been affirmed. Art is intrinsic to the nurturance of the human spirit and art’s true essence is transformative.”~ Lisa Rasmussen MFA
The Hands of Creation series manifested in 2006 to 2010 from my teaching and creating a transformative art program to vulnerable and emotionally troubled children at Lincoln Child Center, a mental health agency for severely emotionally traumatized youth in Oakland, CA.
Ideally, in my work and teaching, I seek to honor that state of the soul where the artist/child experiences the ultimate liberation, which is the personal act of creation itself.
“What does art mean to you?
Join the conversation and add what does Art mean to you in the comment section below.
Ever since I began as a transformative art teacher at Lincoln Child Center, I have been asking this ongoing question to myself and to my students everyday that we meet in the “calm room’ –the art room. This is whattranspires.
Javier one of my students who is age 7, said “painting makes me feel happy. When I make art, I learn about the parts of myself that are a mystery.”
Art helps me find my own creativity. Darill, Age 11
When I grow up I want to create video games and I want to become a scientist who studies volcanoes. When I created this painting I grew as an artist. Art is fun. My favorite thing to do in art is everything. I come from a long line of artists. My family is Cambodian it reflects on me to shine and to become an Artist. In art I am always learning and making up new techniques. When I grow up, I want to be a mechanic. The most beautiful moment in my life was when I was brought into this world. Rayu, Age 12.
Art means I do not quit and I learn patience. When I grow up I want to a football player/artist. Jericho, Age 12
Art is joyful. I learn about quality in myself when I doing art. Alexus, Age 12
Art is fun!! It is an expression of my feelings. I love to paint. Through the colors that I use I am getting to know myself. From doing art I am learning to use better actions when I am angry. I put my anger and expression in my art. Ian, Age 12
Tell me about a beautiful moment in your life? When I made my first painting at LCC.
Art brings hope to me, inspires me as an artist, encourages faith in myself and helps me dream into my future. I enjoy painting and lettering on canvas. In art I learn to express my feelings and calm myself down. I also learn that I can do what I want to do and be what I want to be when I do art. Isabel, Age 13
Tell me about a beautiful moment in your life?
When I was born was a beautiful moment because I came into the world and I am gonna be somebody.
When I was ten I discovered that I loved art. I find art very therapeutic. When I feel that life is tough I do art. To me art is freedom and power.Jasmine, Age 14
What do you want to be when you grow up? When I am an older my wishes are live in India and to have an art studio and teach other children the power art.
Art it is cool. I like to paint, draw, and do anything that starts with an A. I just love art. Ruben, Age 8
What do you want to be when you grow up?I want to be an artiste.
Tell me about a beautiful moment in your life? My happy place called art
Art is a way of life. My favorite thing to do in art is make the painting bright. In art I learn more and more. Marquis, Age 12
Art is very peaceful. while doing art I am a calmer person. The most beautiful moment in my life was when I was painting roses on a wall in fourth grade art class. Julius, Age 11
Art is the expression of my feelings. My favorite thing to do in art is action painting. I have learned that I am an artist. Anthony, Age 13
Art is power. When I do art I am at peace and I learn that I can make no mistakes. Shay, Age 11
Art means to me family, earth, and flowers. When I am painting I learn about relationships and that I am happy. Kacey, Age 10
“Hope” by Jose, Age 12
Rayu won an ART award at the Pro Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland
Butterfly Man, by Austin, age 8
Mask making, Hadari, age 12 (RIP)
Jasmine, super ART star, age, 13
Austin, age 8
Jasmine, super ART star, age, 13
Tamoni, Perry, and Ms. Vinya
“Energy” Aaron, age 14
Art means I can do anything I put my mind to. Art is a thing I love to do it is relaxing and calming. Austin, Age 11 turning 12
What do you want to be when you grow up? Billionaire
Tell me about a beautiful moment in your life? When I did this painting it is the best one I have ever done.
Art is about learning to have faith and to have fun. Sarah, Age 11
Art is about spirit’s and stuff. In art I like to paint and shake it around. And use my imagination. I learn about patience and it makes me feel good about myself. Hadari, Age 11
Art makes me feel good and no one can take that from me. I learned from art I am talented. Dion, Age 10
Art is about expressing myself. My favorite thing to do in art is abstract painting. In art I learned that I can get my feelings out. Javaya, Age 11
Art is everything to me and when I do art I learn about life. Michael, Age 11
Art means love. It teaches me patience and that I m creative. Ashley. Age 10
Art means a lot. Art takes you into another dimension. It is better than anything in this world. With art I learn about life and that I am a good person. Alerria, Age 12 getting ready to be 13
Art is about feelings. I learn how to speak up for myself. Manisha, Age 11
Art is about love. Charles, Age 11
Lisa: I am truly amazed at what you have accomplished and the level to which you have taken our art program. I get a big smile every time I see an email, knowing that you are once again doing great things for our kids. It is truly transformative in their lives, and in ours. Thank you,
Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO of Lincoln Child Center in Oakland
And thank you for being the source of its creation!