Hogar Niños por Un Nuevo Planeta ( Home for Children for New Planet), Bogota, Colombia

 

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This was an astoundingly surprising Mural to kick off the beginning of the Colombia Artolution. It was the single largest single day mural I have ever facilitated in my entire life. Within the span of the day we worked with over 300 children on a 60 ft canvas mural stretched between 4 trees. Working with “Hogar Niños por Un Nuevo Planeta” was an absolute  pleasure. This is a community of children ages 0-14 who have suffered serious domestic and sexual violence in the Bogota area, and have come to this safe home voluntarily or through a concerned adult; and are given a chance to have peaceful and growing environment. As I arrived, I was scouting the location for the mural and found a perfect location for the mural between three trees. I spoke to the head women of the home, and they strongly advised to  make the mural span four trees, which would over double the length of the piece. I was very hesitant to do this, but I respected the wishes of the maternal leaders of this community. We filled full trash cans with a watered down combination of the primary colors and let over 100 kids go wild: and they really went nuts! They let out  an expression of energy that shook the earth. This energy came out in a watery explosion of color that covered everything in sight; Canvas, trees, children and all. I could tel they had more to express that than I could know. With the completion of this the kids were given oil pastels and eventually full palettes of paint. And although the kids worked wonderfully and with dedication, we were not even close to finishing the canvas by the time the event was finished for the children. The feeling of taking too big a bite infused my brain. I knew this was a single day event, and not finishing was not an option. With the remarkable help of my collaborative artists Laura, Xue and Angela, we were able to bring a smile of life to this unfinished piece. With two black lines and countless smiling goofy faces we were able to complete the piece. When the community saw what we had done, the appreciation was absolutely astounding. There was resounding response of love and compassion — the adults and children alike. They informed me that this would adorn the new home they were building, which would infuse smiles and empowerment into children for many years to come. This was the first step in the Colombia Artolution, and it brings my soul a smile to think of the beauty this will bring to the posterity of  the beautiful land of Colombia.