When Canfield senior, Haley Holt, was choosing her National Honor Society community service project, she knew it would include her passion for art.
Haley contacted Suzanne Gray, her former art teacher at the Davis Family YMCA, and they devised with a plan that was approved by NHS advisers, Tim Wensel and Matt Montgomery.
Over the past three months, Haley has been spending each Tuesday afternoon at Briarfield at Ashley Circle in Austintown. After much discussion, a group of residents with an interest in art helped to design a banner for the 2014 Global Art Project for Peace (GAP). GAP is a UNESCO nominated organization founded in 1994 to foster world peace through artistic endeavors.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Briarfield at Ashley Circle residents are taking part in a global art project this month thanks to the efforts of Canfield High School senior, Haley Holt. Pictured front row from left are: Donna Adams, Theresa Hickson and Rose Thomae. Back row from left are: Haley Holt, Anne Leach, Tami Sandford, Dennis Wiser and Anna Creque.
The Ashley Circle group is in the midst of finishing a painting, which will become part of an international peace exchange. The group doesn't know where their banner will be sent, but it will be one of tens of thousands of art pieces to circle the globe at the end of April. At that time, Ashley Circle will receive a piece of art made by a group somewhere else in the world.
Haley said that the experience of working with senior citizens on the project has been pure joy. The level of enthusiasm during the weekly sessions has helped her realize that art does, indeed, transcend all levels of age, ability, and locale, she said.
"By doing the project, I am honestly learning how to better communicate, and I'm making some really great friends along the way," Haley said. "Everyone has his or her own story. They find a way to make you feel loved, and I always feel like a kinder, warmer person after spending time with them."