Art giving teens and children hope

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Elizabeth Durden had a plan. She wanted to engage children and teenagers near the area of 42nd Street and Post Road. According to police, it’s an area known for high crime and even higher poverty rates.

So one day, she handed out pieces of paper and art supplies and encouraged the youth to draw what they feel. The group took the challenge and created various works of art.

Durden then took the art and had it displayed at Ivy Tech.

“They loved it, they were so excited, they wanted to do it every day,” said Durden. “This helps keep kids engaged, they poured out their hearts and soul on paper, or on canvass.”

Kevin West, owner of Gifted, knows the impact art can have on teens and even children. Recently West created Gifted which is the first fully automated, on demand, paint by number company. The goal of his creation is for clients to paint what they love. People submit a photo, and that image is turned into a portrait on canvass. Then the clients paint the canvass of the image they love.

Currently, Gifted is in 20 states across the country.

“It happened and it happened fast, when the Lord gets a hold of something he takes it to a whole different level whether you are ready or not,” said West.

Through gifted West has given jobs to young artist, even one that was recently homeless. Now he’s a lead artist.

“I have my own business card with my face on it, it makes me feel cool, real cool,” said Casey Ross, Jr.

Durden and West plan to connect in the near future to expose some of the teens and children to the endless possibilities that can be created through art.

If you would like to learn more information about Gifted, log onto their website or you can also call at 317-912-4422.