Artist and Arts Organization name: Jennie Lobato and drawchange
Featured Work 1: Children participating in a drawchange program with founder Jennie Lobato
Jennie Lobato is an artist and community arts education provider who founded drawchange in 2009 in order to provide art opportunities to under-served children. The program works with Art Therapists and Child Behavior Therapists to offer a tailored curriculum to children in any environment, including after-school programs, orphanages, homeless shelters, and more. Drawchange has worked in Atlanta, GA as well as internationally in Cartago, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia. The experiences drawchange provides are immeasurably important to young people’s sense of empowerment, sense of safety, and self-confidence.
We are even lucky enough to be able to share one of Lobato’s original paintings with you (below). You can also listen to a podcast about the founding of drawchange here.
Additional Featured Works: Painting by Jennie Lobato and slideshow of drawchange programming
5 Questions for the Artist and Arts Organization:
1. What is art to you?
Art is life. It is everywhere and anywhere. Art is used to view the world through your own lens or to be viewed from the lens of another. Art is beauty. Art is life.
2. What did you make in the past, and why?
I started my art career painting cemeteries in bright colors as a way to see something so grim as bright and lively. It was a direct reflection of what was going on inside. Today, whenever I do paint, I paint airy landscapes. My preference has always been to paint from life so I can feel the emotion, more so then painting from my imagination or a photograph.
3. What are you making now, and why?
Now I spend most of my time with drawchange as my art form. I find what I do exhilarating and a daily creative challenge. I work alongside Art Therapists and Child Behavior Therapists to learn how to best creatively help the children through art. It is my daily art form and allows me to see beauty in my every day.
4. What are your hopes for the future?
That every child on earth could have access to as much art as they could possibly want. That every child on earth could express themselves in good times and in bad through art.
5. What else would you like to say?
Please visit drawchange.org and get involved! We need more creative souls behind our operation. Our main push right now is to find more Sustaining Members at the $25 per month level. This regular contribution ensures we can plan ahead to expose more and more impoverished children to the beauty of art.
Artist Supplied Background:
Jennie Lobato is first a fine artist and secondly, founder and CEO of drawchange. Drawchange’s aim is to provide vulnerable children with the same opportunities she personally had to be inspired and transformed through the use of art. Jennie empowers children to channel their creativity to manage their current circumstances, to show them they can attain anything imaginable, and to allow them to escape to anywhere they want to go through drawchange’s art-therapy based programming. Jennie’s art as a teenager was an outlet and coping mechanism when going through trying times. Her H.S. senior thesis consisted of painting, drawing, sculpting and collaging scenes of cemeteries. Her art did not reflect the grim and morbid imagery that most people conjure up when thinking about cemeteries. In contrast, the scenes were extremely vivid, with contrasting colors. They served as an escape from her painful reality at the time. She wishes to grant this opportunity to all the children she works with through drawchange.
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