Walking in My Painted Shoes
Emily Lawrence-Boulger is passionate about people and art. She was named the Special Education Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association in 2008, and her passions took a new form when she founded Haverhill’s Shoe Town Art Center (STAC) after realizing that there weren’t many arts programs for children and adults with disabilities. Expressive arts classes offered at the center include painting, drawing, sculpting, ceramics, jewelry-making and other mediums. Completed projects are sold on the center’s website.
The longstanding “Walking in My Shoes” art project hopes to promote positive awareness about the value of diversity. The project involves STAC students and others from The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverley School for the Deaf. Students paint and decorate shoes to reflect their individuality and showcase their talents. On the bottom of each shoe is a picture of the artist with a small mirror covering his or her face. When someone picks up the shoe and looks at the sole, they see their own face on the student’s body. It’s a visual way of asking them to walk in the shoes of the object’s creator. A sticker showing the project’s web address is also placed on the sole so viewers can learn more about the program.
Completed shoes are placed in various locations around the region and the world with the idea that people will pick them up, pass them on, or keep them. If you’d like to participate, you can make a donation at the STAC’s website: ShoeTownArtCenter.com.