We are our own stories

There are so many ways for humans to share their stories. We are used to the written format of the memoir. Other formats would include a graphic novel-type presentation, visual journal, and songs. Today’s pictures depict a group project, a community project, in the form of a large picture.

Altogether, 70 separate individuals produced 60 squares that, when combined, created one large picture, currently on display at the Grand Island Memorial Library.

The overall effect of the community project, organized by Crystal Still and Bonnie Nevans, co-owners of the Orange Poppy Art Studio in Grand Island, is one unified image. If you look closer, however, you will see the individuality of the individual artists shine through.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the artists who participated in creating this exhibit. We actually created our individual sections in June. We were each given an envelope, which contained all the materials and instructions needed for creating the square. We were told that, even though each individual portion of the project looked very abstract, when the entire project was completed, we would see something representational. Until the project was on display, we had no idea of what it might be.

I got my portion and I began working on it. I had one week to complete it. Because I had to divide my square into nine sections, much like a tic tac toe board, I got the idea to use a tic tac toe theme. I did so with great glee and energy.


I used acrylic paints and markers mostly as my media of choice. As it turns out, there were as many themes and styles as they were artists.


The stories of all of the artists were depicted, both individually and as an entire unit. We were our own stories and we became a group story. It was a great project, and I am really happy to have been a part of that. Oh and by the way, that was my second community art project.

The first one was the mural designed by Terry Klaaren in 2012 on the backside of the Grand Island Plaza, facing Baseline Road. Community art projects are fun, and I am looking forward to more of those!

2 thoughts on “We are our own stories”

  1. What an awesome project to have been chosen to work on! I love the idea of so many artists working individually but then becoming one large piece of art!

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