Chris is originally from Jackson, and has lived in New York, Texas and Georgia. He picked up many art techniques along the way, but has always been inspired by graffiti. He chose to use this medium when creating the CARES Center mural. When using graffiti, Chris says his hand can be the paint brush. “We wanted to do something that’s very colorful and something the kids could relate to,” Chris shared. The mural is full of bright colors and includes a child playing a video game fully transforming the formerly white-walled game room into a burst of color.
During the summer art class taught by Chris, the kids were able to learn about murals, create tie dye t-shirts, and build and graffiti paper trains. Brooke Holloway, CARES Center Residential Life Manager, shared how meaningful having Chris contribute his talents to the children is, “Art really does help the kids express what’s going on inside because they don’t always have the language to express it verbally.” Brooke saw a positive impact on several children who attended Chris’ art class, and how much it meant to them to see Chris come back to paint the mural just for them.
This is the first of other murals planned for CARES Center. “The more color and life, the more we can make it feel like home. It can feel like a place where they can be safe, comfortable and relax, so they can heal and then go home and be successful,” shared Brooke. The wheels are already turning for new murals and art projects for CARES Center. Kim Jordan, CARES Center Director, says “We are extremely grateful to have Chris on staff and for him to bless us with his artistic ability. I think his art gives hope to the kids. The mural he did for our game room is so full of color and life and a lot of times our kids are missing that.”
Our hope is that the children at CARES Center can feel loved and inspired by the environment they are in on any Canopy campus. Chris draws inspiration from his family and environment. “My favorite part of my job is that it allows me to showcase my creativity through projects, and knowing everything I produce is helping the children in our community,” says Chris. We are all made better when we can use our talents to give back to others, just as Chris has done at CARES Center.