In creating this collaborative art project, my original plan was to do a large-scale image using the kids’ hands, alongside the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I had the kids pick a skin tone construction paper. It was fun to see what colors they picked. Many did not pick a skin color that matched their own. We traced their hands and, using a variety of mediums, they decorated their hand as they saw fit. Then Covid hit and I was not able to have 100% of our kids create their decorated hands. Not having enough hands meant that I had to come up with something else. After playing around with the arrangement, I landed on a heart. I wanted to incorporate scripture into this project. I then landed on “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
I love color and am drawn to the rainbow because it reminds me of God’s promises, so those were the colors I used while painting the heart and background and adding paper scraps for texture. The hands were arranged within the heart and then Scripture was added to fill in the spaces (hiding it in the heart!). I chose Scriptures that spoke to God’s character. The extra hands became raised in worship with Scriptures about worship around them.
The hope was for color and texture to draw the viewer in and then for the Scripture to hold them there to see and reflect on the character of God and how He loves us regardless of the color of our skin.
Art Instructor at PSM’s Academic Enrichment Program