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Artists take to painting to spread joy and peace

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ST. LOUIS – Thomas Merton is credited with saying, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” That might be the case in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood, where a seed of an idea was planted and began popping up in door frames.

“I had seen the doors of London and doors of New York, and this place and that place, and I thought we get so many things about north St. Louis, if we can get things that when people look at them it makes them feel happy or make them feel joy, that’s a part of wellness and to live well,” said Paulette Sankofa, founder of Peace Weaving Wholeness.

The community healing project called Peace Weaving Wholeness, for artists and residents in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood began spreading to other doors Wednesday at midday.

“I don’t live here,” said artist Andrea Hughes. “I live down the street but I love this community because it’s a lot of creatives here and a lot of colors are coming out of a lot of different places and we’re just adding to it.”

Sankofa got the idea when COVID-19 came knocking on her door in February. She turned the experience into a sunflower.

“I drank lots of orange juice, elderberry, and took vitamins,” she said. “People were making soup for me. I want to tell you once you had it, you’ll never forget it. I didn’t have it to the level other people had it, but you couldn’t be hospitalized or tested unless you were on deaths door.”

Sankofa hopes the stroke of a brush can strike inspiration in others.

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