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On Saturday, September 20, The Brant Foundation, Free Arts NYC, and The Department of Homeless Services collaborated to bring 101 homeless children from seven New York City shelters a day of fun and art-making with artist Dan Colen. The event, which took place at The Brant Foundation in Greenwich, CT, paired each child with a one-on-one mentor working in an arts-related field. The pairs began with a tour of Colen’s show “Help!” currently on view at the foundation. From there, each child worked on two projects inspired by Colen’s work, and one collaborative piece to bring back to their respective shelters.
One of the projects was to create painted rock m&ms inspired by Colen’s work Jazz and Leisure, currently on public display at 137th Street and Broadway as part of Marlborough Gallery’s “Broadway Morey Boogie.” Colen introduced the projects by saying that, “There are no mistakes in art. That’s what attracted me to art many years ago. What I like to do is transform simple materials into an experience that people enjoy. My hope today is that…you’ll learn how to transform simple objects into memorable experiences and that maybe by the end of the afternoon, you’ll consider yourself artists, too.” A lovely thought, indeed.