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Spreading the LOVE: Advertising students’ work part of Dallas LOVE Project of 10,000-plus artworks honoring JFK

Art on sale this weekend, Jan. 24-25; some works to be loaned to nursing homes, rehab centers and more

Chandler Broadrick

Tien Dang

Anam Hadwani

What started as a citywide art project to counter the “City of Hate” label given to Dallas after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has grown into Dallas’s largest-ever art project. Ten thousand pieces in all were created by 20,000 artists, some of whom were students in Meadows’ Visiting Executive-in-Residence Willie Baronet’s “Introduction to Creativity” class at Meadows School of the Arts.

The Dallas LOVE Project, organized in 2013 by 29 Pieces founder and Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Karen Blessen, called for local artists and schoolchildren to create 18-by-18-inch paintings and drawings conveying messages of love and positivity. In fall 2013, all were displayed along the Kennedy motorcade route and in various spots around the city in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death.

Today and tomorrow, the Dallas LOVE Project will hold a sale of many of the artworks at 29 Pieces, 124 North Peak St. Proceeds will help with distribution of the remaining artworks to people confined to institutions who could not see the exhibits last fall. Organizers are seeking the public’s help in finding places such as nursing homes, shelters, retirement homes and rehabilitation centers to show as many as 100 pieces from the Project collection. “We’ll deliver the art to the location for people to enjoy,” says Blessen.

The community participation aspect of the Dallas LOVE Project fits nicely with the Meadows School’s movement to have its students engage the community. Chandler Broadrick (Advertising/Creative Track, ’15, with minors in journalism and graphic design) participated in Baronet’s class and says the Dallas LOVE Project gave her the chance to engage the community on a large scale, while reflecting Dallas in a positive light to the world. “Using art in this way really impacts the way we feel towards one another,” she says. “It unites us and gives us a common bond. When so many people participate in one cause it really brings the whole community together.

“The positive publicity that the Dallas LOVE Project brought to Dallas really made a difference in how the rest of the world views our city.”

Student Anam Hadwani (B.B.A. Marketing, ’15, with minors in art and advertising) chose the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that" because, she says, “It showed me the true immensity of power that comes from spreading love.”

Tien Dang (B.A. Advertising/Creative Program, ’16, with minors in women’s & gender studies and graphic design) looked toward John F. Kennedy for inspiration. “I wanted to let his words resonate through my work: ‘Let us step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace,’” says Dang of the message Kennedy delivered during a commencement address at American University in Washington, D.C., in June 1963.

To suggest a location for the art to be displayed, contact Kara Hobbs at the Dallas LOVE Project. In your email, include the name and type of organization you are recommending, its contact person, and the institution’s address, email and phone number.

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