Aspen art students ‘Look for the Good’ in the world around them | AspenTimes.com

Aspen art students ‘Look for the Good’ in the world around them

ASPEN – Like most Aspen school kids, eighth-graders Anna Patterson, Devin Randel and Katia Galambos have a lot to be grateful for. Asked to dig a little deeper, they summed it up in a few simple words: “I am grateful for everything.” “I am grateful for friendship.” “I am grateful for sunny summer days.”

As part of an Aspen Middle School art project, the girls – along with their fellow art students – found “the good” in the world around them.

The endeavor – inspired by the national Look for the Good Project, an ongoing national art project about gratitude – is a chance for kids to really think about what they are grateful for.

The kids were given postcards on which to write and illustrate their thoughts. The only parameters were to think beyond material objects.

“I had them make lists of all the things they loved that they were grateful for,” said art teacher Rae Lampe. “We stayed away from material things – though we are grateful for our iPads and phones – and it’s amazing what the kids came up with.”

For parent Sarah Shaw, who brought the idea to Lampe, the Look for the Good Project’s local angle is clear.

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“It’s not that different a concept than things our kids did to celebrate Thanksgiving in preschool, but the idea is to promote a more advanced concept of being grateful for what we have here in Aspen and in general,” she said. “Instead of writing letters to the paper complaining about mundane things or getting sucked into the negative campaigning that we’re all being subjected to on a nightly basis, let’s think about how lucky we are to live here.

“And maybe the kids’ work can be inspiring to the adults. Who knows?”

To share the kids’ messages, the postcards are currently on display in the school’s foyer. They also might be scrolled on the school’s website, and plans are in the works to have the pieces of art made into cards as a fundraiser for the Aspen Education Foundation.

Lampe believes her students’ messages will rub off on those who read them – in whatever format.

“You know how when you remember a great moment, you relive that happiness? This is like that,” she said. “When we read what the kids wrote, or see their artwork, we feel a sense of gratitude ourselves.

“I think it can be a powerful message.”

jmcgovern@aspentimes.com