Artist. Teacher. Friend.
The last few weeks have been tremendously difficult for our ArtWorks family as we are grieving the loss of our beloved, Ms. Debbie. Our hearts are broken and we are holding her husband Scott and her children, Abby and Ben, close as we mourn.
Debbie Russell is in our DNA. She was a part of us when we were still just dreaming about what was possible and has been a vital part of ArtWorks coming into being and thriving in our community. Debbie was our wonder and joy. She infused our pursuits with color and life. Today, we are grieving and the days to come will be difficult; however, our future will forever bear her fingerprints.
Debbie will be ever-present in all we do, and her legacy will live on. Her time with us and her investment in this community will be like a seed planted deep within us, continuing to produce beauty, art, and life.
Many of you have contacted us and asked what you can do in Deb’s honor and how you can help to continue her work here at ArtWorks. We are establishing The Debbie Russell Scholarship Fund in her honor and memory that will provide scholarships for Smart Start and Visual Arts Classes. This scholarship fund will make Smart Start and Visual Arts classes available to the children who need it most
To Ms. Debbie’s Students:
You were her treasure, her delight, and her dream come true. She loved each of you deeply and individually and saw the artist in you. She would want you to keep that artist alive your whole life long. Often quoting Picasso she affirmed his belief that “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
We can all continue to honor Ms. Debbie’s life and legacy by cultivating our own, unique creativity. As Ms. Debbie would say again and again when admiring something a student had created, “This is beautiful and your work is important.” She was right. Your life is beautiful and your art is important. Don’t overthink it. Just make art.
Thank you for loving and supporting our ArtWorks family.
Ms. Debbie, we love you.