This year for Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week, we tackled a community-based art project that exceeded all our expectations. We combined our favorite paint colors, our favorite community, and our favorite group of kids to create a Kids' Art Crawl! We wanted to get kids thinking about the role of art in their community, and make them feel special by putting their artwork up in a real gallery setting. It was sweet and moving, and we can't wait to tell you all about it.
When Bruno and I were first looking to buy a house together, we were squarely split between living in my childhood neighborhood or his. Both St. Paul 'hoods were full of charm, great schools, vibrant communities, and they held our happiest childhood memories. In the end, we found the right house at the right price in his neighborhood. So that's where we landed.
Years later, with the birth of our children, and their launch into our neighborhood schools (both preschool and elementary), we were given the greatest, most unexpected gift of all - the gift of natural kinship. We are surrounded by loving neighbors who have become some of our most treasured friends. We have a network of people we love and a true community, and we attribute it to our beloved schools.
Last year, to celebrate a special place in our neighborhood we teamed up with Sherwin-Williams to make over the gym in our son's nursery school. Here's a refresh of the project - it remains one of our favorites:
This year, in line with the theme of community, we wanted to do something for another school in our area that we treasure: St. Anthony Park Elementary. With the support of the brave and amazing second grade teachers, we embarked on the ambitious project of having 100 second-graders create a work of art.
She believes Ms. Krider has hung the moon, and I believe it too. She loves our girl, and every other child in her classroom. And that's where magical teachers begin: from a place of love. You see it and you feel it, and the world is a better place because of teachers like this.
With this wonderful school's support, we assembled all 100 second graders together to complete a painting project based on the theme of community. Kudos to those amazing teachers for their generous offer of time and open-mindedness as we talked to the children about what makes a community and then set them free to fill a canvas full of their ideas. It was a magical couple of hours with lots of conversation, creativity, and a true sense of togetherness. The children were surrounded by their beloved teachers, and we had a terrific team of parent volunteers join us as we painted and created this project.
Meanwhile, at Curbly HQ, a different kind of art project was going down. To help set the tone of our art show, M.E. designed and painted a giant mural for us to display in the space. It boasts our motto: Love Where You Live, and our Curbly colors (all matched to Sherwin-Williams paint colors, holla!). It is surely the most joyful thing we've ever laid eyes on.
We projected the design onto the wall, and Bruno and M.E. hand painted it using Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Latex paint in the following colors:
- Red: Stop SW 6869
- Peach: Rejuvenate SW 6620
- Mint: Spearmint SW 6465
- Gold: New Colonial Yellow SW 2853
- Blue: Indigo Batik SW 7620
The mural was a ton of work, but seeing it some together was thrilling. Having really high-quality paint, like Emerald, was invaluable. Why? Because the last thing you want is thin paint that doesn't cover well, or worse, drippy paint that ruins your design. The Emerald line of paint is super-thick (almost buttery ... if you can say that about paint), and was a cinch to paint with.
Two weeks later, we transformed our St. Paul studio into an art gallery, and displayed all the paintings as part of the St. Paul Art Crawl. We invited the children and their families to join us for a reception and the whole experience was like a big warm hug from your favorite grandma. Children arrived with their parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. Neighbors came by. Teachers too. It was the perfect culmination of a very special project.
You can't have an art show without refreshments, so we went kid-appropriate with cookies, popcorn, candy, and juice boxes. We served everything up on lovely party wares from Pottery Barn:
Beverage Buckets: Bleeker Party Bucket
Marble Platter: Marble and Copper Platter
Marbelized Serving Plates: Marbleized Serve Platters
Frame: Floating Wood Gallery Frame
This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and Pottery Barn, but all opinions are mine alone. We're grateful to these companies for partnering with us on projects that support children and art in the schools, and we unreservedly love using their products. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Curbly possible.