Jessica Smith supports many causes and one of the most exciting is the Rainforest Art Project.
The Rainforest Art Project is a nature and history-based, educational, healing arts program that inspires children and their families; building a sense of pride and ownership through the creation of permanent ceramic and mosaic art.
Participation in mission based art activities encourage creative growth by allowing the participants to take part in developing their own artistic vision for their community. When people create art that is installed in a prominent public location, they develop a sense of pride and ownership.
The Rainforest Art Project was developed by embracing the philosophy and values of nature based healing arts. We believe in the power of history, nature and art in self-expression and bring those beliefs into all of our lessons and programs. Our curriculum has an educational base and incorporates many of the National Standards.
We want to encourage a new way of thinking, and broaden the younger generation’s perspective of the world; art as a way of life, not only as an expression. When our students have a greater understanding and appreciation of nature, their minds and hearts open and they gain a greater sense of self and empathy for others.
A great sense of accomplishment and joy is apparent in people who create a sculpted ceramic tile. Learning techniques of carving, sculpting and painting empowers them to continue exploring new endeavors. The tiles that our students create become part of permanent art mosaics, which are located in highly visible areas of the community. With this process, the participants contribute to something beautiful and enduring that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives. Years later they can come back and see their work, still there, bringing joy and inspiring others.
The Rainforest Art Project is a life changing experience that goes beyond the basic lesson plan. As soon as students enter the classroom, they are delighted by the sounds of softly falling rain and exotic birds and monkeys, playing in the background. Colorful models of butterflies, fish, birds and plants decorate their workspace.
We strive to awaken a sense of enthusiasm and wonderment when introducing people to art. A fun and exciting classroom environment enables students to connect with their inner creativity and with each other. A dynamic and colorful atmosphere inspires open creative expression, which manifests as beautiful works of art that students and families will treasure forever.