According to art teacher Steve Ferrera, his students have for the past few weeks been designing glass Purple Heart heart bracelets and necklaces, as well as glass Purple Heart paperweights in honor of the veterans’ services. Purple Hearts are often given as a military decoration to veterans who have been wounded or killed while serving the country. The students are also gift wrapping the art pieces and making cards to deliver to the Palo Alto Veterans Administration.
This is the first year the art department has worked with the Purple Heart idea, but art teachers have collaborated on other projects with organizations such as the Traumatic Brain Injury Center during the Halloween season in the past. This year, the students learned how to make glass paperweights and beads in class, and decided to use their new skills to give to veteran patients that are away from friends and families over holidays, Ferrera said, adding, “It’s just a little gesture to lift everyone’s spirits.”
Junior Cassandra Fong, a ceramics student, said she appreciates the ability to learn new skills while simultaneously giving to the community.
“I love the opportunity to use our glass blowing equipment to make Purple Hearts to show our appreciation for our veterans,” Fong said.
The project shows students that art is important and useful in many ways, including helping to improve the common good, according to Ferrera.
“You always hear kids and other people asking what art is good for, and this puts that question into perspective,” Ferrera said.