Kinsey enjoys Lilly Day of Service

Art teacher volunteers her time for the community

On October 2, art teacher Lauren Kinsey co-led one of Lilly Day of Service’s community mural projects. The mural Kinsey worked on is by Kentucky Avenue and the White River in Downtown Indianapolis. This year was Kinsey’s second time participating in Lilly Day of Service.

Every year on October 2, employees from Eli Lilly participate in Lilly Day of Service where they plant trees, rejuvenate areas in need along with other forms of community service.

Kinsey got involved in Lilly Day of Service through her a professor in college who has a not for profit organization called The Davinci Pursuit; the organization brings together science and art. He had a competition through his organization where designs are entered to be murals for bridge underpasses. Competitors create their design and chose a color palette to go along with it. Winners pick a certain bridge to have their design stenciled onto and then painted.

Kinsey and her friend, Ms. Cory, who is also a teacher at an IPS school, won the competition. The funding for this competition was by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which does a lot of not for profit work in the Indianapolis community. Due to funding, Cory was one of the first to be funded while Kinsey is hopeful hers will get funded in the near future.

“We work together on a lot of projects, so I was her right-hand man for that,” Kinsey said, “Her design was kind of like these organic shapes that’s what penicillin actually looks like under the microscope.”

To help create the murals, the competition used the Eli Lilly Company to come in and provide the manpower.

“It takes a lot of background work – the stenciling, the priming and things like that to get it all ready,” Kinsey said, “Then on Lilly Day of Service, Lilly’s volunteers come in and actually paint it.”

On the day of service, Kinsey helped Cory with the design work, stenciling and making sure everything goes as schedule on the Lilly Day of Service.

“We’re in charge of set up, and we’re in charge of all their people and what we have them do,” Kinsey said, “We paint it alongside them, so if they have questions, they can ask us things like what color should be on what and how we want it done,”

Kinsey believed that the Lilly Day of Service was a good experience for her and everyone involved.

“It’s nice to go out in the community and give back,” Kinsey said, “I think it’s really easy to get wrapped up  in your own life and forget that there are so many other things that you could be doing. Apart from driving down the street and saying, “Hey, that’s my mural!”, it’s also the giving back to the community part that’s good. As a teacher, you’re helping build those collaborative skills and being a leader. It’s all around a good experience.”

When asked if she recommends people participating in Lilly Day of Service, Kinsey believes that it’s absolutely something that anyone should get involved in.

“I think it would be nicer if students were more involved in the community,” Kinsey said, “It’s something I regret from when I was younger. Kids tend to be a little bit self-centered, myself included. You just forget there are so many other things going on in your community that you could be a part of.”

Kinsey greatly appreciated the support given by Ben Davis.

“It’s nice that I was supported by Ben Davis,” Kinsey said, “They gave me the day off to go out and do something, so I think that really shows that the school is supportive of doing stuff in your community.”

Hopefully someday soon we’ll see Kinsey’s artwork displayed in Downtown Indianapolis.