Giving rather than receiving

Forest Hills student art project spreads joy

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Jacob Whitley propped his artwork on a chair just outside of Starbucks in Wilson Tuesday afternoon.

The blue and yellow piece showed a brilliant diamond with wings attached.

“Somebody might need that to help their day out,” Jacob said. “It might bring them up.”

That is exactly the concept behind an art project led by Shelly Mahoney, art teacher at Forest Hills Middle School.

“The idea behind it is to give back to people,” Mahoney said. “They are giving this holiday season rather than receiving.”

As a result, 90 pieces of the seventh-graders’ art were placed throughout Wilson and the surrounding areas.

“They have to create their own designs and then leave them in random places with a note that basically explains that this is my gift to you,” Mahoney said. “If you find it, it’s yours to keep.”

To track the project, the note asks the finders to post their find on social media with the hash tag #BUCKCHEERSART.

“I think its great and cool at the same time because you don’t know what somebody’s going through and something that you give out can help their life,” said artist Kerah St. Clair. “You never know how you can inspire somebody else more than you can inspire yourself.”

Emerson Mills had already given out her artwork and said it made her feel good.

“Someone could find it that might need it. I think it’s kind of fun to give things,” Emerson said. “It makes me feel happy because I know that I’m doing a good thing for someone who might need it.”

Chancellor Kirby included messages as part of his artwork: “Life does not wait.”

“The concept was to let people know that the opportunity that you can take, you need to take it right there because that opportunity might not show up later on in life,” Chancellor said.
Parth Dave said the class is creating artwork that can be sent out to the world to make people happy and bring their hopes up.

“For example, if they have a lost one and they are having a really bad day, and they are just walking on the street or something, they can maybe like find one of these and maybe it can make them happy,” Parth said.

Eduardo Ruiz had a piece that focused on Puerto Rico because Hurricane Harvey hit the small island earlier this year causing great devastation.

“I am just trying to show people like Puerto Ricans to stay hopeful,” Eduardo said.

The storm made Eduardo feel bad because his father’s mother lives there all by herself.

“Her building got demolished, and she lives in like a little hut,” Eduardo said. “People need to think about how other people’s lives are harder than theirs so they will be thankful for their own lives.”

Chase Harris said the art is basically to spread good cheer be uplifting to the finders.

“Be happy no matter what situation you are in because there might be better things to come out of that,” Chase said. “You never know what might happen because you might be coming from one of the worst situations possible and then come out and have things like 10 times better or way better than what they were before.”