Over the years, I have collected many pieces of artwork related to bluebirds and Sherry Ross. I have been blessed that so many children in our community have shared these works with me! Some might want to write these off as silly scribbles or just another drawing, but art gives us an incredible insight into other’s minds. I would like to share some of them with you!
Art allows children to gain the tools necessary for understanding the human experience. I witnessed this after Sherry Ross died, when her eldest daughter Paige starting expressing herself through wood burning a note of memorial on the nest boxes we had created. After the wake and the funeral, Sherry’s daughters would come over to my house and we would sit in the warm sun, quietly and slowly using the wood burners to create symbols and words expressing our feelings.
As coping method to deal with breast cancer, Sherry spent many hours doing art activities with her daughters. She wanted to stop the rat race of extracurricular activities and driving back and forth, and just wanted to sit down and really enjoy her family. Sherry and her daughters loved to work with clay, and created many sculptures during this time. It was their favorite!
When preparing for the annual Bluebird Festival, I asked my daughters and nieces along with Sherry’s family to create artwork expressing how they felt about the bluebirds and what it represented to them. At the festival, my daughters and Sherry’s daughters would run the art booth where festival members could come and express themselves with clay, crayons, markers, paper, glitter and glue, and pipe cleaners.
This taught the children running the art booth how to adapt and respect others ways of working and thinking. All the while, the children were developing creative problem-solving skills, and communicating thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways. Children from the festival would take their masterpieces home. Some donated them to my Bluebird Artwork collection, and I honor all of them.
I feel it is important to encourage and support student’s creativity. Each child has a different imagination and ideas to offer that is their very own! Art allows children to make incredible connections with their inner selves, which only aids in healing and development of self-esteem.
It is an honor to share the Bluebird Artwork with you. I want you to be inspired and motivated to create and share your own Bluebird Experience after seeing our beautiful art! The love I feel when seeing Sherry’s’ daughters’ artwork confirms why I was supposed to meet Sherry. Just as I have found that nature heals, so does art. It is apparent when you see the sparkle in a child’s eye when you truly admire their creations.