Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lifting Spirits with Color

BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT COMPANY is leading the way by offering to paint 51 shelters in 50 days with colors to uplift the spirits of residents. This is the most positive use of color which I advocate. A teacher long ago complimented me for wearing bright colors on a dreary, rainy day. She said I perked everyone up. If we can uplift others simply by wearing or decorating with color, shouldn't we? See the article following:

Benjamin Moore Embarks on "Color Care Across America"

America's Top Paint Brand Teams With U.S. Conference of Mayors + Painting & Decorating Contractors of America To Provide Color Makeovers for 51 Shelters in 50 Days

MONTVALE, N.J., Sep 26, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --" The uplifting emotional impact of color is being put to the test as Benjamin Moore Paints launches "Color Care Across America," a color makeover program for shelters. The initiative launched September 21, in Laredo, TX and Trenton, NJ, and it will continue over the course of 50 days, as crews of volunteer professionals who are members of the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA)--a team in each state plus DC--pick up their paint rollers and brushes to provide color redesigns for shelters that provide housing for those in need.

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), which has made reducing homelessness one of its top priorities, partnered in this ambitious campaign. "The nation's mayors are the first to understand the hardships facing families today," said Tom Cochran, CEO & executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors. "With the failure of the national economy to rebound and the dwindling resources on the ground, many people are out of work, homeless and must turn to these shelters for help. That's why we are pleased to be a part of this Benjamin Moore program. Color is powerful! If it can brighten lives and uplift the spirits of our neediest citizens. We are all for it."
The individual shelters that will undergo the color transformation were chosen through a competitive process that included a USCM review committee.
In explaining Benjamin Moore's decision to undertake Color Care, company director Carl Minchew said, "Many hard-working families are experiencing the loss of their homes, and finding that the American dream of home ownership is fading. They are among the growing ranks winding up in shelters. It's demoralizing, and in some cases, a de-humanizing condition that can break the spirit of any family. Then, of course, there are the hundreds of women and children seeking sanctuary from abusive households. The increasing demand from these growing populations is taxing and straining the organizations that offer emergency living. Obviously, there's no simple solution to this troubling occurrence, but the aim of Benjamin Moore in launching 'Color Care Across America' is to bring attention to this situation while helping to improve the living environments for those who seek this basic human need of having a roof over their heads."
According to Richard Greene, CEO of the PDCA, association members were quick to sign on for the initiative. "You'll often find PDCA members among the first to volunteer for community projects, offering their time and skills to help the less fortunate. So, we're proud to be officially onboard with this tremendous undertaking and applaud each individual painting and decorating firm that has committed to the program."
With a promise to paint the interiors of shelters that are up to 10,000 square feet in size, Benjamin Moore is providing enough paint for bedrooms plus common areas such as living rooms, dining rooms and recreation spaces, entries/foyers, hallways and stairwells. It estimates that by the completion of the final shelter in Washington, DC, this November, more than 3,000 gallons of paint will be put to use. Minchew said the painting contractors will handle minor repair on walls, ceilings and trim to properly prepare the surfaces being painted. There's a plan, as well, to leave behind a few extra gallons with brushes and rollers "in case residents, staff or volunteers feel inspired to spruce up other areas of the house that remain in need of a coating."
Helping to ensure that the color options for these community residences will add an upbeat mood while respecting local and regional tastes, Benjamin Moore turned to the editors of House Beautiful magazine. They joined with Benjamin Moore's senior interior designer, Sonu Mathew, in putting together seven suggested palettes that each shelter will be able to choose from.
"There will be no cookie-cutter looks," said Minchew, "and no standard institutional hues. This is an empowering opportunity for the shelters to select colors that are livable and likable."
The Color Care program is also underway in Canada, where a shelter in all but one of the country's 10 provinces is getting a color makeover, as well.
To track the progress of this program, please visit the Color Care Across America tab on the Benjamin Moore Facebook: http://www.facebook.com"

(The color being applied to the wall in the photo above is what psychologists call Bubble Gum Pink. Research has shown that it lifts the moods of depressed people who are institutionalized.) It's true that color can make a difference!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Colors of Agony

Ruth Ganley, an Interior Designer from Long Beach, California, asked several residents in her city and surrounding areas what colors they would use to describe 9/11. She says, "What I call 'Colors of Agony' were the most often chosen. Black symbolizes the dark day, ash gray represents steel and dust from The Towers, and fiery red describes the anger they felt as well as the blood spilled that day."

"I asked these same residents what colors they would use to describe the future of America. What I call 'Colors of Hope' were what they mentioned. Green for life and hope, white for moving forward, and American Flag Blue for freedom."

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of that fateful day in our country; we will probably all pause to remember those lost in the attacks. I hope we can visualize those colors of hope that Ruth mentioned.

I will be posting on these colors of agony and hope in the future. Fine artists' birthdays follow:

Valadon   Suzanne Valadon
September 23, 1865
2 Romare Bearden, 1911
3 Louis Sullivan, 1856
7 Grandma Moses, 1860
7 Jacob Lawrence, 1917
7 Leo Sewell, 1945
12 Ben Shahn, 1898
12 Richard Hunt, 1935
13 Robert Indiana, 1928
16 Jean Arp, 1886
20 Hughie Lee-Smith, 1915
22 Alma Thomas, 1891
22 Jesús Bautista Moroles, 1950
23 Suzanne Valadon, 1865
23 Paul Delvaux, 1897
23 Louise Nevelson, 1899
26 Théodore Géricault, 1791
28 Caravaggio, 1573
29 François Boucher, 1703