KNOXVILLE, TN (WATER) — A local organization provides a creative outlet for our underserved community and those who may have been through difficult times.

The canvas can do miracles, which began as a branch of the Literacy Imperative in 2008, officially became a 501-C3 tax-exempt nonprofit in 2019. Every Wednesday, the organization offers free art classes with a meal to children, adults and people struggling with a substance. abuse issues or who may be at risk. It’s a passion project for Jackie Holloway, executive director of Canvas Can Do Miracles, who knows firsthand how powerful art can be.

“I have always been an artist. I remember when I was 3 years old, lying in the grass outside and drawing, art was always a part of my life,” Holloway said. “I found myself in a situation where I was addicted to crack for 12 years. I had put down my artwork, so art saved my life. It gave me the desire to change my life of addiction to a life of recovery.

Canvas Can Do Miracles programs have an 88% success rate in helping those in recovery. The NPO is also a safe space for self-expression, culture and community.

“When I first came [to Canvas Can Do Miracles], I was a little nervous about talking to anyone. Now everyone is friends with me and I am friends with them. I feel confident, happy and in my place,” said junior worker Jalen Johnson.

Holloway teaches art classes to their adults while program director Audrey Wallace oversees the organization’s youth. Now more than ever, Wallace believes we need more positivity in this world.

“Love is the answer and we can spread it everywhere we go. We can spread positivity everywhere we go. You never know what someone is going through, so we just want to put a smile on everyone’s face. the world through the arts,” Wallace said.

Holloway and Wallace encourage everyone to come check out Canvas Can Do Miracles. They point out that you don’t have to be the greatest artist to create meaningful artwork.

“A lot of people won’t try art because they compare themselves to a great artist and say, ‘I can’t do this.’ Well, no – you do what you do, and your work will express you and it will be beautiful. Once you start to see the work that you produce, you only grow,” Holloway said.

Select artwork created at Canvas Can Do Miracles is available for purchase. Proceeds go directly to the artist who created it. If you want to look at the artworks for sale or learn more about the non-profit organization, you can head to the Can Do Miracles Website for more information.


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