“BRAVE NEW WORLD: RESILIENCE IN THE TIME OF COVID” is a collaborative public art project, organized by Nashua (N.H.) Public School art teachers, Rodney Coffin from Nashua High School North, Stephanie Sewuk-Thomas from Brentwood Academy, and Robin Peringer from Nashua High School South, and involved about 80 students.
With the challenges of Covid 19, teaching remotely, and being concerned with the social and emotional well-being of students and the community, this need to communicate visual and verbal messages of hope and resilience were of utmost importance, the art teachers said. The philosophy of the project was inspired by the “Choose Love Movement,” established by Scarlett Lewis after her son, Jesse, age 6, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT. Lewis says, “The ‘Choose Love Movement’ is teaching children and adults around the world how to change an angry thought to a loving one, and live a life filled with “Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion-in-Action.”
The Nashua art teachers created a website for the Brave New World project to house their research and resources to provide the students at the three schools with a similar learning experience. They report that students embraced the meaning behind the art project and are excited to share their work with the public.
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT:
The paintings have been treated with a marine grade clear coat to handle the weather. The choice of using a chain link fence for exhibiting the work was made so it could be a type of street art, in the outdoors, and enable it to be temporary and movable. The organizers would like to find another outdoor location to move it to at the end of this exhibition and are amenable to work with people who would like to host the artwork also.The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Nashua North senior, Tyler Almeida, who was an inspiration to all who knew him. His spirit carries on through acts of kindness.
EARLY REACTIONS AND NOTES OF PRAISE FOR “BRAVE NEW WORLD”:
“In a time when we need connection more than ever, these students shine their light! I have tremendous gratitude for them. Their compassionate hearts, inspiration and creativity will now provide ripples of smiles in their community.”- Shannon Desilets, program director, Choose Love Movement for State of New Hampshire, Governor’s office
“What a gift these Nashua students have given us as they express their courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion to usher in our brave new world! Choosing Love brings forth the creative parts of us, the places that want to be seen, and celebrated! Clearly what they’ve given in joy and expression has come full circle. Thank you for this bright spot whose ripples will continue to extend and benefit, indefinitely!” – Scarlett Lewis, founder, Choose Love Movement