The Painting Marathon PAINTINGS: What It Takes To Get There!

The upcoming Naropa Community Art Studio-International (NCAS-I) 48 PAINTING MARATHON culminates with the completion of three UNIQUE and collaboratively created works of art.  This requires a thoughtful proposal by each of the team’s captains to ensure intentions and outcomes that parallel the mission of the NCAS-I.  Below is a beautiful example of the energy our teams are putting into this project…

The Soaring Hearts Painting Proposal

We want to continue working with the image of a winged heart.  This is a potent image symbolizing our sincere offering of love, strength, and support both locally and globally. The painting will begin with a skeleton of our intended image, an anatomically correct heart with wings.

It is our responsibility to inform, not control, the artwork. We will clearly state and restate our intention behind the painting as a way to inform the work of our team.  THE INTENTION: Through this art we offer a chorus of support and healing for women and girls involved in sex trafficking and all those who serve them. 

We will paste words, images and poetry on the wall around our canvas as a way to provide inspiration and intention setting.  The image above is only one of many.

Painters will be free to express support for our service learning work in whatever creative voice they choose.  There is no way to preserve all of this art, so our compromise is to preserve parts of it, specifically as layers of feathers on the wings.

At either the beginning or end of every 3-hour shift, painters will place masks on the canvas in the shape of feathers.  This will be done with tape, a cardboard or plastic feather shape, or masking fluid (we can offer all three and let each artist choose how they want to do it).

We envision a beautiful layering of stylized imagery constituting the wings of the heart.

During the final shift team captains will help integrate all the layers of artwork, which will include finalizing the heart in the center, creating cohesion in the wings, and fine-tuning the background and border.

We will provide each painter with a small winged heart print to offer our gratitude for their participation and a token to remember.


We believe strongly in making an effort to preserve the work of a community of hands and voices that will go into this painting. Through their artwork, painters essentially have the opportunity to put prayers onto the canvas. We want to uphold and respect these offerings, as well as honor the creative process over product, in alignment with the principles of art therapy.

As artists, we do not want to sacrifice the integrity of a process that allows for spontaneity, honesty and synchronicity.


To create a rich, deeply layered, and well integrated piece of art that anyone would be delighted and honored to win at an auction.

To clearly communicate to painters our plan and the process so they know what our final vision is from the start, and that we hope to include each of their unique voices. Also to inform them that it will be impossible to preserve every bit of what they paint.

To generate fun and excitement about the work we are starting to do in Cambodia, as well as create a stress-free experience for painters and team captains. 

To raise awareness around the problem of sex trafficking and our hopes for rehabilitation and healing.

To inspire and empower a community of artists, a community of support for this project, and to facilitate more awareness of social action art therapy.  

Photo courtesy of The Soaring Hearts

We look forward to this amazing community event where we can all put paintbrushes and paint to canvas to raise awareness for, empower, and heal survivors of sex-trafficking and those who have been affected by trauma.  Thank you for your support, and if we don’t have the pleasure of seeing you at the event, we know you are all with us in spirit.  

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