Moses Lake High School Students Provide Hope Through Art Project with Jordan Chaney
Over the past several months Leigh Allison-Ray, NCESD Student Assistance Professional serving Moses Lake School District, has been supporting the students in the Moses Lake High School Youth Action Team (YAT) with their latest project: artwork to promote wellness and resiliency.
YAT is a club of students dedicated to helping peers and younger students make healthy choices around substance use and mental health challenges. Earlier this year, through their relationship with the Moses Lake Community Coalition, the students connected with poet, artist, and motivational speaker Jordan Chaney.
Chaney speaks on his personal challenges and how the use of art through spoken word and painting can create healing. Throughout the year, Chaney met with the students every month via Zoom to build communication skills and self portraits. For their final project, he encouraged them to create something that could be used to foster hope within the community.
The students were provided a large canvas to create a hopeful message. After sharing their favorite messages and symbols with each other, YAT students discovered a recurring theme of hope was sunsets.
“Members mentioned that sunsets provided them hope,” explained Allison-Ray. “A beautiful end to an unhappy day, and hope that tomorrow would be better.”
The students painted a storm on one side of the canvas and a sunset rainbow on the other side with the message, “Sometimes in order to get the rainbow you have to go through the rain”. They included their thumbprints as lights on the buildings in the painting.
Since completing the piece of artwork, YAT has displayed it at Moses Lake High School’s Club Night and 8th grade lunchtime at both Frontier Middle School and Chief Moses Middle School. The students hope to find a permanent home for the artwork within the city to provide hope to others through their message.