"Proverbs Woman" by Karen Blessen

Much-decorated neighborhood artist Karen Blessen achieved a rarity this week — she’s featured in a front-page story in the Dallas Observer, and the newspaper isn’t making fun of her or trying to put her in jail. Instead, the Observer awarded Blessen and two other Dallas artists a $2,000 “Master Mind” grant for her work bringing art to children in area schools.

Blessen, who won a Pulitzer Prize while working with the Morning News and who won a Katie Award for us here at the Advocate for a cover she did in October 2007 illustrating our Trinity Tollroad story, operates a non-profit called Today Marks the Beginning that promotes peace through art. One of her projects teaches kids about historical figures who promoted peace by helping them make artwork using common household items like macaroni, buttons, etc.

It sounds a little offbeat, but check out the website, and you’ll see the beauty in what Blessen is doing. In fact, Today Marks the Beginning was the first group to receive a grant from our own Advocate Foundation from funds raised through our annual holiday ornament sale.

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