Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Card Project 2007

Greenjeans is pleased to announce its second annual Holiday Card Project for Charity!

The year, the project will benefit the art therapy programs at three Brooklyn shelters: the Park Slope Women’s Shelter, Broadway House Women’s Shelter, and the Atlantic Men’s Shelter. The three shelters are run by CAMBA, a non-profit Brooklyn-based social services organization.

Residents participating in the art therapy programs created the handmade cards, and they are each a totally amazing and charged work of art. Looking at them closely can be quite moving, as I found CAMBA's "The Home Project" art exhibition to be back in June (and which I blogged about here).

As last year, Greenjeans is providing all the card stock and envelopes for free, and donating 100% of the selling price to the beneficiary. Cards are available to purchase for $4.00 each at Greenjeans now through Christmas.

Jessica Fox, the art therapist at Atlantic Men's Shelter, wrote about the experiences some of the residents, referred to here as clients, had while making the cards:

"The client who drew "Enjoy your winter" deliberately chose not to do a holiday card. He wanted it to be a general card and... used stencils to decorate the card. The [Gift Wrapping] card was something the gentleman would have liked to receive, a gift in the mail or card as the gift. The "4 You" card was made by a gentleman that enjoys art; he explored the media and thought outside the box. He is close to his mother and the holidays are not as hard for him since they have a relationship, he visits her weekly.

"The sunflowers were done by an individual that has contact with his Aunt but shows delusionional thinking. His card reminds me a lot of a Van Gogh painting. He has made several cards and has really embraced the theme and to create without boundaries. The leaf card was done by an individual that has low-self-esteem and is dating someone that he believes steals and gets arrested regularly. He felt very accomplished after doing this card and a few others... The one that says, "Love You" was done by a schizophrenic gentleman that has obsessive compulsive disorder. He he chronically ill. He has a family that lives in Brooklyn and a child but has limited contact with them. He believes he will live with them but unfortunately they are not willing to have him in their lives. He enjoys the arts and shows artistic skill. The last resident created a few cards by cutting out his own shapes from design paper. He enjoyed the project and thought outside of the box."

Each year, Greenjeans partners with a different charity for its Holiday Card Project. In 2006, we partnered with Millennium Villages, a project of Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme working to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa. The cards were made and donated by artists and artisans whose work we offer at Greenjeans.

Thanks to Jessica, Kate, Kelley, Shawn, and Teesha at CAMBA for making this all happen, and to Hiroko Kurihara for introducing us to our neighbors at the Park Slope Women's Shelter. And a BIG thank you to all the artist-residents who made the beautiful cards! Happy Holidays!!

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw.

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