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ARTIST STATEMENT
THE NEW VISION

The smell of opening a fresh box of Crayola crayons on a Saturday morning is a memory still fresh in my mind. I would lay on the floor, the crayons would dance across the paper as I embarked on countless adventures with my doodles. Sharing my cartoon creations became a cherished ritual, proudly displaying them on any refrigerator with space to spare.

As I grew older, navigating the waters of high school and wrestling with silent battles of mental health, challenges rarely talked about back then, art became my sanctuary.

 

Self-taught in Graphic Design & Photography, I ventured into freelancing and collaborated with a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to large corporations, and covered weddings and social events. However, it was the transformative experience of adopting three children from foster care that reshaped my perspective and ignited a deeper sense of purpose. Together, we navigated the storms of their traumas, finding solace and healing in the universal language of art. This journey reinforced my belief in the connection between creativity and resilience, inspiring me to utilize my design skills as a catalyst for positive change.

 

Two years ago, a flicker of a dream blossomed into a grand vision: to create a sanctuary where creativity thrives and community flourishes, right in my front yard. Thus, The Happy Little Art Gallery was born, crafted from recycled materials and overflowing with love. Below it lies a fairy garden, a magical space where little visitors can dream and play.

The gallery itself is divided into three sections. It features a lending library for all ages, a rotating showcase of local artwork in the middle, and a sanctuary on the right stocked with tools for healing the mind and soul, including calm strips, stickers, fidget toys, art supplies, bubbles, and canvas/paper. Additionally, there’s a small card providing mental health resources for those in need. The gallery is ever-evolving as I discover new items to add, continually nurturing this space of creativity and healing.

 

My dream extends far beyond this single gallery. I envision spreading new smaller versions of The Happy Little Art Gallery throughout the greater Cleveland area, planting seeds of hope in communities that need it most. Each gallery will offer not just art, but also vital mental health resources, each with its own unique theme. They will include free little art supplies and a dedicated space for individuals to create and share their work. In addition, I plan to host local events to raise awareness about mental health resources, inviting the community to come together and create art using recycled materials like wallpaper and tile samples. These events will foster a spirit of sustainability and unity, reinforcing my commitment to mental health advocacy and the power of creativity to heal and connect.

In these galleries, stories unfold — testaments to courage, resilience, and the limitless power of creativity and love. With each stroke of paint, pencil, or crayon, I hope to weave a tapestry of compassion, painting a brighter, kinder world for all.

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