#kellyonmymind a year later

it has been almost a year since the state sanctioned execution of Kelly Gissendaner. Candler needs a time and space to remember, grieve and create art to give to Kelly’s children.kellyonmymindcandler

here’s the plan from Art in the Image:


  • stories about Kelly and the people Kelly loved
    • sit with the stories for a minute- a time of centering prayer.

this project is to create a piece of art that commemorates the life and work and spirit of Kelly Gissendaner. we will use this mixed media medium to tell the story of our emotions. this piece will be given to the children of Kelly. 


  • a prayer station to meditate on colors.
    • colors and their compliments can represent feelings.
    • this is the place for the foundational color work on the canvas.

building a base layer on the canvas in this phase is about blending colors in an abstract way to begin identifying feelings.


this content portion of the mural is accessible to all because of the medium of collage.

*important to remember that the eye has the ability to fill in suggestions of an image, so instead of putting their whole image on the canvas- find a portion that can be meaningful.


  • a station to write a short reflection on the image they placed-why and where and what it represents to them.


  • finally prayers or words for the participants
  • encouraging them to write some as well

This timeline of the stages of this creation process will be published with the piece. 

7:30-10:30- The background- the foundation- the broad strokes of the work.

In this stage we are simply laying the foundation for the piece. Many who have not worked creatively with paints will have trouble keeping it very abstract in this portion. I would suggest that perhaps the members of the Social Concerns Network and I meet and begin this part together. 

We will encourage people to think slowly and meditatively about the 

We will leave the paints with directions and suggestions (I.e. Remember that every contribution is subject to change, so don’t get to attached. This is a practice of letting go. Seed planting and never knowing the growth. Also more practical advice like: Do not glob the paint on the canvas as there will be imaged attached with glue on the canvas.)

10:30-1:30-The content of the piece- the tree is affixed and the instructions and template for the leaves is left

This portion of the creative process begins with the affixing of the tree on the canvas. See attached image of a tree that I have drawn and will use for this. Magazines, scissors and glue are placed out with pages already out. 

People are asked in this phase to meditate on the images in the magazine. The Social Concerns Network can write up the exact nature of the emotions that they would want to be expressed. As I understand it an introduction to this part might include, encouraging participants to think about commemorating the work done and the emotionality of the work of advocating for Kelly Gissendaner.

1:30- 4:30- the final stage- finishing- a layer of clear coat added

This time will be one of writing prayers for the family and benedictions to the community that does the difficult work of struggling against the death penalty. In art-making infusing the work with prayer and well wishes makes a significant difference in the piece. Spiritual expression as creativity is a process and to participate in this part is still to participate in the creation of the piece. In the end we might find something that the group feels like writing in a nice script on the canvas.

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