I love art. I love visual art and performance art; the Caravaggio hanging in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the saxophonist in Central Park, the cow sculptures that grazed New York City streets in the summer of 2000, Frida Kahlo’s letters to her secret lover José Bartoli, the play “Astro Boy and the God of Comics” directed by Natsu Onoda Power, “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tart. Art is what makes me feel more than me, more than a software sales professional, more than a mother living in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Art connects me to something beyond my circumstance. When I find myself in a moment of art that moment is transformed from ordinary to memorable, adding nuance to the experience and settling itself deep down in the foundation of me.

I want to give my children a box full of crayons, with every color imaginable, so that they can create out of nothing, think beyond the lines and transform ordinary into art.


To celebrate Penny’s 6th birthday with friends, we had an art party at the Arlington Arts Center, an art center offering exhibitions, educational programs and studio space. IMG_3872

Penny selected her theme for a collaborative art project; zoo animals. Going around the table the instructor sketched each child’s favorite zoo animal.

Each child created their own drawing while the instructor added each animal to the canvas. Lions, cheetahs and penguins were the most popular.


Each child painted their own animal giving Penny something quite wonderful to remember this day and each friend. IMG_3806

After an hour of brainstorming, sketching, collaborating and painting our zoo is complete!

IMG_3836For our second activity Penny wanted to create a “pond”. With mason jars, blue and brown sand, moss, flowers and seashells each child created their very own pond.

Celebrating her 6th birthday with her friends is very special. Celebrating her 6th birthday with one of her favorite teachers adds a colorful and lasting thread to her fabric.

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Exploring the gallery was a great way to finish our day.

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Paul Shortt’s interactive exhibit allowed us to move from amateur to professional in any career field. Her business card said “singer” but for her headshot she sported a basketball jersey.

My big, bright, beautiful six year old. All for you.