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2015 Gallery

A Helping Hand

by: Kathy Kushmer, Palmetto, Florida

Acceptance is like a blanket; it makes EVERYONE feel warm.

quote by: Josh T., 11th Grade, Prew Academy - Sarasota, Florida
teacher: Carolyn Perry

Artist Statement

I am touched by those who need help, and inspired by those who help them. I am privileged to work at a school in Manatee County, Florida, where every student is valued. Each day I witness kindness, patience and compassion by the teachers, para-professionals and therapists who work with our students of all ages and abilities. I have learned so much from them. The children teach me as well.

Compassion is often found in the simplest of activities. In this image, the woman gently holds down a foam hat. The child sticks alphabet letters onto it. She is there to guide and encourage the student. She is to the student as a mother is to a child. The child engages in the activity and she delights in the joy that the child experiences.

In designing this painting, I placed the alphabet letters randomly on the table as I painted them. Once completed, I noticed that the letters under the hat spelled “AWE”. This word reminded me that there is a special grace or “awe” that we experience when we do what we are called to do. In this case, it is shared between the woman and the child during an ordinary activity.

Meet the Artist


Tom & Sherry Koski