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Abandoned Art

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Teacher Karie Lewis displays elements of the Abandoned Art project that her high school art class is working on at Community Christian School. At left is a message that will be left in plastic with a painting of a butterfly in the hope that it will brighten the day of someone who finds it.
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Art students work at painting their butterflies for the Abandoned ArtGroup at Community Christian School. Pictured, clockwise from front, are Lauren Carpenter, Lilly Lane, Annabelle Futrell, Troy Boan and Ethan Ripberger.

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

If you’re walking around town and stumble across a plastic bag with a painting of a butterfly inside, it’s not a keepsake that someone has lost. Actually, it’s been abandoned in the hope of brightening someone’s day.

Students in the high school art class at Community Christian School have spent the past two Fridays participating in what is becoming a nationwide Abandoned Art Group, according to their teacher, Karie Lewis. Soon, their creations will be left in places where others can find them.

“They are making butterflies on canvas,” Lewis said. They put a word like Faith or Hope on the front of the painting. The first week, students all painted a background. Friday, they transferred the outline of a butterfly over the background and then finished painting it. Every one is different, depending on the students’ imagination.

When the paintings are dry, they’ll put it in plastic along with a message stating that it was made by a student at the school and encouraging the finder to contact the school and let them know it was found. An inspirational Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, completes the message.

Lauren Carpenter, a junior, said, “I think it’s really cool to paint these and help make someone’s day. We need more positive things in the community.”

She hasn’t decided where she wants to leave her butterfly painting, although she has some ideas. “I want to hide it somewhere where someone can find it,” she said.

Lewis heard about the Abandoned Art Group through someone who had participated in something similar at the Art House in Connersville. Cindy Martin, who teaches there, had gotten involved with it. She and some of her friends have been leaving pieces of artwork around the area.

Martin has been helping Lewis lead the Community Christian art class involvement.

The Art Abandonment Group was founded by Michael deMeng. He was teaching a class and left a drawing on a table. Tens of thousands of people are involved now. Huff Post, an online news magazine, posted an article explaining it, “Why Art These People Abandoning Their Art” on July 13, 2016.

Lewis said the butterflies are not the last of the Abandoned Art Group that she’ll have her students do. In about two weeks, they will be painting on rocks to be left around the area.