An Inspired Silver Lining

An Inspired Silver Lining
Posted on 12/04/2020

InspireNOLA art teachers continue tradition of City Park tree decorating

For the last five years, InspireNOLA art teachers Jennifer Lindsley and Jarmahn Bright have been making the holidays a little brighter by decorating a tree as part of City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks in honor of Alice Harte and InspireNOLA.

Bright has been with Harte for nine years, the last six as an art teacher, and Lindsley has been with Alice Harte for five years and is now the Talented Art Visual (TAV) itinerant for four InspireNOLA schools. Bright approached Lindsley with the idea of teaming up to continue a tradition started by another coworker, who has since moved on.

“Being that Christmas is my favorite time of year, I was excited to take on this endeavor,” Bright said, adding that, “The fact that I know that I'm helping to put a smile on someone's face gives the needed inspiration.”

Lindsley and Bright Together, the duo, along with students, have created four previous trees themed Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Cajun Night Before Christmas, and A Celestial Season. 

“Inspiration comes in many forms, typically from an artist standpoint, but sometimes just thinking about those yearly traditions offer inspiration for our yearly trees,” Bright said.

“We try to step up our game each year,” Lindsley added.

This year, the theme of their tree is An Inspired Silver Lining.

“I know this year is challenging but I think the silver lining we all have in common is our creativity and our dedication to our scholars,” said Lindsley. “I would like to dedicate this tree to all of the hardworking teachers, administrators, custodial, food service, security staff and scholars to keep us moving and seeing the silver linings every day.”

The tree is located by the Tilt-A-Whirl, which Lindsley said is an apt metaphor for 2020. 
“Unfortunately, Mr. Bright was unable to participate this year, so I had to go solo, so it didn’t have quite the magic,” she said. “I told him he better be back with me next year. We want something with a little more pizzazz.”

Inspire a silver lining In past years, Student Council and TAV students would actively participate by creating ornaments and sometimes the tree topper that would be used, but this year, due to COVID safety concerns and restrictions, the students were unable to participate, but Lindsley hopes next year will be different. 

“We’re already brainstorming for next year,” she said.

The pair say this activity not only gives them and their students a chance to be creative but for the community to see a sampling of their work.

“Art allows students to be expressive in ways that they typically are unable to in other subjects,” Bright said. “To see a student paint their emotions and be proud of what they create brings joy to my life.”

Visit the City Park website for more information on the Celebration in the Oaks.