Uplift students fill Dallas with love

Student artwork for the Dallas Love Project.
Student artwork for the Dallas Love Project is displayed around the city.

With all eyes on Dallas on this Friday, Uplift students from across the network will be remembering John F. Kennedy with art.

Under the guidance of art teachers Lynn McClain and Jibril Rasheed from Uplift Peak Preparatory, Lauren Thompson from Uplift Hampton, and Monica Patterson and Kelsey Storms from Uplift Infinity, nearly 200 pieces of student work were submitted as part of the Dallas Love Project.

The Dallas Love Project, produced by the art non-profit 29 Pieces and 150 participating organizations, was conceived by president and founder Karen Blessing as a way to fill the city of Dallas with love to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, according to their website.

With lesson plans and resources provided by the DLP, the students learned about the history of the 1960s and the racial tensions that permeated the decade.    Ms. McClain explained that while nearly all of the students had heard about what happened 50 years ago, many had not understood what it had meant to be labeled the “city of hate.”

She said that while the lessons taught the difference between friendship love and romantic love, she challenged the students to draw representations of love as tolerance and inclusiveness, even if they don’t always feel like they see tolerance in the world today.

“The way I approached it was there is a responsibility as an artists to speak from the heart and make your feelings known. I told them, especially as high school students, ‘You have the power to change people’s minds with your art and you have the responsibility to try,” Ms. McClain said.

Yessenia Lopez is a junior at Uplift Peak and created art for the project.

“Being part of the Dallas Love Project makes me feel important in advocating the expression of love and makes me feel like a part of a greater cause.  I also like that being part of this project allowed me to work hard on a piece that will be shown to hundreds of people,” she said.

From Sept. 21 to Nov. 22, the students art along with 30,000 other pieces created by other organizations and people of Dallas, line the motorcade route and other city monuments.    A culminating event will be held on Nov. 23 when all venues that house the pieces of artwork will be open to the public.

The art is displayed all across Dallas.

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