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Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the landscape of life and meaning of optimism was forever changed for Haitians. But the Haitian people carry an undeniable resilience that’s a deep part of their history and character.
Life is Good Playmakers, trained to spread the power of optimism to children who need it most, formed a Playmaker Program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to help ensure high-quality childcare even under the most difficult of circumstances. Ten years later, Playmakers in Haiti are known as Gerye Jwa – which directly translated means Joy Warriors, and that’s exactly what they are.
Regardless of what life throws at Haiti, Gerye Jwa always remembers the simple ways we can shift our mindset and refocus our energy. Every day they work with the children to find and nurture and spread that light.
A group of these Playmakers brought community members and artists together to create over 30 pieces of artwork to donate to the 7th Annual Art of Optimism Virtual Exhibition and Auction so together, we can continue our mission to help kids heal both in Haiti and in the US.
Inspiration: This piece is inspired by the work that Gèrye Jwa/Life is Good Playmakers Ayiti is doing in the country. I see them as a superhero who carries the country and accompanies children from generation to generation towards a brighter future. As you can see, the shape on the superhero’s back is Haiti that he pulls out of a darker, more desertic place to lead it, along with the kids, to a lighter and greener place. For me, this is what the work of Gèrye Jwa/Life is Good Playmakers Ayiti is accomplishing in Haiti.
Artist: Carl Heins Desroches
Inspiration: This piece is inspired by the Love for Haiti, our country. It tries to capture the idea that if we love ourselves, the country and its environment will be more beautiful.
Artist: Alex David
Inspiration: This piece is inspired by the Bois Caiman Congress that lead to the Haiti revolution and liberation where drums and Haitian spirituality played an important role in mobilizing the slaves to fight for freedom.
Artist: Tessia Theodore
Inspiration: The artist always takes an illusion from his/her own mind to convey it and/or transform it into art. As an artist, who also lives in his mind, I enjoy inviting others to share my illusions, or imagination through my work.
Artist: Samuel Charmant
Inspiration: On the aesthetic level, this painting is part of the surrealist tendency of contemporary art. The artist tries to convey a metaphysical message by representing through a symbolic chromatic scale the character’s aura through purple and its effects in his surroundings. The artist tries in this context to lead a spiritual quest in his pictorial approach.
Artist: Mitchel Monpremier