The Art Club is working with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County to help raise awareness for child abuse in April.
The center has provided the art club with 30 pinwheels that they will decorate, paint and design throughout March and, when finished, they will return them to the center. The Advocacy Center will then sell the pinwheels to their supporters to help benefit the program. The pinwheels will be displayed in the buyers’ front yards to help raise awareness of child abuse.
“I have a real strong belief in the power of art,” said Derrick White, the Art Department chair. “Art is about human connection. I’m trying to share with students not only individual creative expression but actually partnering with organizations out in the community to help other people and not be afraid to step out and get involved and make the community you are a part of better.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County’s mission is to help children of physical and sexual abuse and is dedicated to reducing trauma for the victims.
For art major Scott Moore, the idea of raising awareness for and contributing to the cause started a year ago.
“What really drove me to get involved with this is, last semester, I was talking with some friends about starting a student organization that helped raise awareness and make small donations to some centers around here,” said Moore. “When I saw this, it reminded me of that, and I said I most definitely want to be apart of this. This is an issue that is very large in the Tyler area but no one wants to talk or think about it because they don’t want to risk the fact that it might be their kid. If we keep sweeping it under the rug it will keep happening.”
The center was created in 1994 and there are now 70 centers throughout the state.
“It’s something that needs a lot more awareness,” said art major Anna Cushing. “This is a good way to put my interests (painting) and skills to use to help the cause. I think we all need to learn more about it, and going to look at other resources, charities and organizations that are statewide and nationally that help in similar ways.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County is located at 2210 Frankston Highway, Tyler, Texas. Their phone number is (903) 533-1880 or they can be found at www.cacsmithcounty.org/.
“I’m happy to have a drop in the bucket to help people realize that they are not alone and they are not the only one that this happens to,”said Art professor Philana Pace.
The Art Club meets every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in the Art Lobby located in Jenkins Hall.