Honoring Emily with Art 2023: Be Bold
The theme of our 2023 Honoring Emily with Art event was Be Bold. The idea for this theme came to Lisa when she was listening to an interview with a food critic who mentioned that she likes to be bold when ordering food off of a restaurant menu, and Lisa thought: That's something Emily would do. Emily put herself out there practically on a daily basis, doing things that weren't always the most comfortable or easy but that led to something fun, different, or good in some other way. After she passed away we received cards, letters and messages, many from people who shared how Emily had made them feel comfortable by being the one to say Hi! and by smiling, coming over to talk, asking them about their day. One of these stories begins "Back in Elementary/Middle school..." and is a Posting on the Memories page of Emily's website. Another was from one of her college professors who wrote to us in a letter:
"I collected an assignment one day and asked the class if it had helped them with their research projects. Everyone was silent and I started getting nervous...then, from the back of the room, I saw an arm extend and give me a thumb's up. It was Emily. I was confused...I asked her what the gesture meant, and she proceeded to express just about everything I wanted the class to get out of the assignment in her cheerful and easy-going manner. It was great, and everyone nodded their assent. She was just able to put everyone at ease when a difficult moment arose, and she truly understood what I was trying to teach. That's so rare, and a testament to Emily's dedication."
It takes courage to raise your hand when no one else will, to say Hi when another person hasn't, to try something new or do something difficult. Being bold is a quality of Emily's that felt right to celebrate, with so much craziness in the world -- sometimes it takes being bold to get up and face each day and to try our best. Doing this art project, we embraced some of that Emily boldness and created some beautiful, bright, bold art.