About the Orphan Art Project

It was a hot South African summer day in 2006 as I walked through the shacks of Freedom Park, a squatter camp near Rustenburg, South Africa. I was visiting AIDS patients, bringing them food, water, and prayer. The stench of hopelessness hung over the shacks as the people of Freedom Park struggled with poverty, death, and the sickness they've named "our disease," known to the rest of the world as AIDS.

I was struck by the way that these people struggled to regain their dignity by caring for their tin shacks, cleaning them and painting them vivid colors. It occurred to me that there was a very artistic quality to these shacks made of discarded metal from the nearby mines. The textures and tones of rust and dirt mingled with vivid colors of green, red, and yellow. On that day the vision for the Orphan Art Project was birthed.

In 2009 I brought back pieces of tin from a South African shack and found artists from the Denver area who were interested in turning it into soul-stirring art. Each piece of art is unique in the way that it expresses the hopelessness of the human condition while finding beauty in the God given dignity of each person.

The ultimate vision of the Orphan Art Project is to create a non-profit entity that tears down a shack and builds a proper brick home in its place. The metal will then be turned into art which will be sold and the proceeds will fund the building of a new home, and the cycle will continue.

Our family primarily works with orphans in South Africa. You can learn more about our work there by reading our South Africa Blog. It is our goal to build new homes for orphans living in the village of Phokeng, South Africa. These are children that have lost their parents to AIDS and are now raising themselves and their younger siblings.

If you are interested in getting involved or supporting this cause, please send us an email at JennyLincoln@hotmail.com. Now that we are back in South Africa we need people in the U.S. that are experienced in the art world to help us with the sale and distribution of this art. We need someone who can head up this project, so please let us know if you feel like that is something you would like to take on. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Please browse through the pieces below.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please excuse the mess . . .

I'm trying to fix a few bugs on the blog.

The Orphan Art Project is Back!

The Orphan Art Project has kicked off in Ft. Worth, TX.  Check out the website and facebook page for more information and details. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Art From the Bana La Modimo Africa Gala

Special thanks to Chris Sharber of Sharber Photography for the photos in this post.

These pieces were donated for the silent auction portion of the gala on Saturday, October 3rd. All pieces have been sold.

Click pictures to enlarge.

Faces - Children of the Dominican Republic

Artist: Chris Sharber


In 2004 I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I was with a group of friends visiting the work of Healing Waters International, a clean-water ministry based in Golden. I was not sure exactly what my purpose was supposed to be while there. I didn’t have huge funds to help. I couldn’t really change the situation for the people living there. All I had was my camera. So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I began to take photos of the people. Their situation was so dire. Abject poverty and poor water conditions are a major part of these people’s daily lives. Yet they were so warm, friendly, and giving.

Many of the people were actually refugees from Haiti. As poor as the DR is, the situation in Haiti is so extreme that Haitian’s flee to the DR seeking a better life. These children were living in a refugee camp, totally reliant on the help of others for survival. I was captivated by the faces, the eyes, the homes. I wanted to tell their story.

Though literally a world apart, many people of the DR and South Africa share common experiences and living conditions: crushing poverty; poor living conditions; shack homes constructed from branches, cardboard, scrap sheet metal, etc.

Through the efforts of missionaries Lincoln and Jenny Smith, and with the financial support of others like you, many of the shacks in South Africa been improved and rebuilt, bringing hope and greatly improving the quality of life for those living there.

This particular art piece brings these two worlds together. The images are of some of the children from the Haitian refugee camp in the DR. The frame is made of sheet metal that had once been a home in South Africa.

Look at the faces. Look into the eyes. Touch the metal. What do you see? Are they really that different from you and me?

About the Artist:

Chris Sharber is a photographer from Evergreen, Colorado. He and his wife Julie own Chris Sharber Photography. Their studio specializes in artistic wedding photography and family, kids, and high school senior portrait photography. They have two children, Matthew and Mallory. You can learn more about their work at www.sharberphoto.com

Artist: Aaron T Larson


My vision when making this item was a way to represent South Africa as a nation, so I went with the national flower the Protea. I wanted something that was discrete and represents something greater than itself without screaming it in your face. Something timeless and unique without hiding what the material was when it stumbled upon me.

About the artist:

I started welding and forming steel in 2003, when I bought a welder and taught myself some basics. I started working at a furniture company in Evergreen, CO where I took on the trade as blacksmith. It became what I feel is my career calling and my passion. But, economy stopped me from continuing this dream. General construction is what pays the bills now. I only have the shop space to do small scale projects, but one day God willing, I will start larger scale once again.

The Tree of Never Ending Love

Artist: Andrea Osmond


“The Tree of Never Ending Love” is a symbol of our core. God is represented by the old and wise stump at the base of the tree, where everything funnels back to. The trunk of the tree is represented by Jesus and his giving and acceptance of our lives. The branches and leaves (metal from South Africa) represent that God loves and accepts everyone for whom they are. There is not a leaf or a branch that is identical. Each leaf and branch were individually cut and shaped to a unique and individual piece. When the breeze blows against the leaves, the beautiful chime noise represents God’s love. You cannot see his love but you can feel it.

About the artist:

Andrea Osmond was raised in Conifer, Colorado. She graduated from Conifer High School and is currently perusing a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Public Relations.

Andrea really enjoys volunteering. She has volunteered for many organizations including; Cowboys 4 Kids, Evergreen Rodeo Association as their Queen in 2006, over the holiday season she works with the Denver Fire Department’s Bikes for Kids program, and in the Winter Special Olympics in Copper. Andrea finds great pleasure in working with the National Western, the visit to Children’s Hospital is one of her favorite events. She has enjoyed it all and plans to continue being active in her community for years to come.

Andrea found her way into real estate through her father’s active role in construction for 30 years. While growing up she found pleasure in helping her father design and put creative finishing touches on projects. Andrea has always enjoyed the beauty of homes and wanted to continue her interest in the real estate industry by becoming an agent.


Artist: Ann and Jen Petzl


The picture in my head of the women from Freedom Park that Pastor Shawn described after his visit there....not easily forgotten; women dancing, jumping, shouting praises and pouring out their hearts in thanks to God. Amazing. Women who are dying and have no earthly reason for such abandon. I see exuberance. dazzling smiles. passion. energy. vibrant color. rhythm and lyric. i see....J O Y.

That picture is what inspired this piece of art. The fabric is hand-dyed in the bright colors to be found in South Africa. The design whispers flowers, life and beauty. It is all tied with multitude colors of thread....both fragile as this is what holds the whole piece together, yet strong as it binds it into one cohesive unit. There is no right or wrong way to look at this piece, or to hang it. It is just meant to be delighted in, as we are meant to delight in Him.

May it bring joy to the owner. :-)

About the artists:

Ann & Jen are mother and daughter who once did not understand each other. But God has given them a priceless gift in their adult friendship, and ability to share their hearts, laugh together, ski together, argue over where to hang pictures in each new home they move to (they have moved a lot thru the years!), and most of all to grow in the grace, wisdom and beauty of Him who loves them the most.

Jen is currently a senior at CCU, majoring in Biblical Studies, though previously an art student. She is uniquely gifted with teens enjoying her work with WYLdlife. Ann is soon to celebrate 25 years of marriage to an amazing man, she has 3 other wonderful & real kids. Though not an 'artist' she loves the creative process, especially when shared with Jen.

Myn Wereld

Artist: Debbie Pasko


It is supposed to represent the imprisonment and isolation the children affected by AIDS in Africa must feel, even while living in one of the most beautiful places in the world...it was done with "mixed media": a combination of monotype, with oil-based inks, the tin, oil pastels, "sharpie" markers and urethane.

About the artist:

I received my BFA from Metro State many years ago...I am a printmaker, primarily: I like to do large scale monotypes, lithographs and etchings, and have had several "one man" shows in the area, where I have been fortunate enough to sell most of my work. I now work pretty much on commission only, although it might be fun to do another piece with more tin.


Artist: Erica Feucht


This piece is called "Beauty." I believe that women are made to reflect beauty from within. Beauty is not simply an outward appearance or something that is pleasing to look at, but is deep-rooted within people and their circumstances. It is not always pretty, nice, pleasant or fun, but true beauty IS stunning, captivating and awe-inspiring. It is meant to stop you in your steps and ask you to think. It cannot be hidden away, covered up, or lost.

As I began this piece with the sheet metal from a roof in Freedom Park, I wanted to imagine the person who used to live under it, and the word Beauty struck me. I wanted to reflect that woman and her depth of inner beauty through this piece. The women on the piece are meant to represent different regions of Africa. Many North African women are Muslim, and the woman in the middle is very traditional for Western Africa, and the woman on the right is to represent Eastern traditional dress. Each woman reflects a different facet of beauty, yet in a rugged way.

They are made from plastercast because it depicts the brokenness of humanity. Because of that brokenness, beauty shines through as a facet of the God-shaped hole in each of us.

About the Artist:

Erica Feucht began pursuing art as a teenager in high school. Since then, she has completed a degree in English, Creative Writing, as well as having invested about 5 years working with at-risk youth in Colorado public schools. At the completion of college, Erica decided to spend 6 months abroad in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. While she was there, God called her to be a lifetime missionary to Africa. She came home, married the love of her life, and they're presently living in Golden, CO, raising support to return to Guinea-Bissau as long-term missionaries. This is the first art piece she has completed since high school, and it very much reflects her heart for Africa as a whole.

Artist: Nick Kurtz


As far as my concept, I was juggling several ideas.

I generally like to let my art speak for itself. People will ask what certain images mean or if there's symbolism, but I want my art to make a person feel whatever they feel on their own. God gave me a wonderful talent and all that I want is to use it in such a way that will glorify him. I want people to see my art and know that it was only BECAUSE of Him that I was able to create it.

That being said, seeing as the piece was created for a shelter called the Lighthouse, I wanted to put that in to play somehow. I wanted to portray the fact that, through any and all darkness, a light shines. And that light is God.

The piece is a mixture of my own style of drawing/painting and the traditional American style of tattooing. It was created using a combination of spray paint, fluid acrylic, India ink, and tattoo ink.

About the artist:

I am a tattooer at Brave New World Custom Tattoo in Lakewood, CO. I have been drawing and painting since I was a child, finding inspiration in all aspects of life. I am married with two wonderful little girls.

See more of Nick's work on his myspace page.

Artist: Tammy Sizemore


When I began to plan for the Africa Gala project my mind turned to weaving, as it often does. There are many life analogies in the warp and weft of any fabric. Our lives take on many colors, textures and patterns as God, the Master Weaver works on and in our lives. I wanted to use this concept to reflect Freedom Park in the piece. I created a map of Africa using latitude and longitude lines as the initial framework of the warp and weft. As I filled in the body of the work I chose a variety of copper wire and sheets and colored aluminum wires to reflect the vibrant colors that the people of Freedom Park had painted their homes. I believe the way they have painted these simple metal buildings is an amazing example of the creativity of God reflected in the life of the village.

About the artist:

Born and raised in Kentucky, I studied art at Murray State University with a concentration in Weaving and Textiles. In 1982 I married Greg Sizemore, the day after he accepted a commission in the Marine Corps. In the past twenty-seven years moving from duty station to duty station, and ‘retiring’ in 2002, I’ve found a variety of ways to use my art training, through teaching, event coordination and creative worship. For the past 14 years while teaching my two children, I spent a lot of time teaching art to groups of other homeschooled children including group classes and private weaving and drawing lessons. I believe God’s creativity is reflected all around us and He is the source of all our creative endeavors. It flows from Him through us into our lives, reflected in our art, music and writing and everyday life.

I’d like to say a special thanks to my dad, Felix Taylor, for creating shadow box to hold the piece.

Artist: Rob Hawthorne

About the Artist:

My name is Rob Hawthorne and I’m originally from Chester, NJ. I moved to Colorado 16 years ago to enjoy the Colorado life-style. I have been a commercial photographer for 23 years, and I have a successful photography studio in Denver. I am married with 4 children and live in Lakewood. I’ve been attending Red Rocks Church for several months now.

I started doing mission work 13 years ago in Haiti with a church in Denver called Church in the City. My first mission trip was a ten day visit to the Light & Peace Mission in Bon Repos, Haiti, with 14 other team members. I quickly fell in love with the people of Haiti and knew God was calling me and my wife, Kelly, back to Haiti.

About a year later, Kelly and I decided to return to Haiti for three months and to live with the pastor in his crumbling cinder block home with its sheet metal roof, no electricity and no running water. We soon adjusted to the Haitian life-style and were readily accepted into the community. We developed many relationships that I know will last a lifetime.

The next year we returned to Haiti a third time and lived at an orphanage with over 175 children. At this time we had our first child with us who was only four months old. We had a hope of one day starting our own orphanage, but first we needed to gain some experience working in one.

After almost a year at the orphanage, Kelly became pregnant, and we returned to Denver to continue growing our family. During this time, God called my mother, Carol, to pick up where we had left off. After an emotional and eye-opening trip to Haiti, Carol refocused her ministry from caring for local foster children to caring for the families and children at the Light & Peace Mission in Haiti.

Dayspring Ministries eventually purchased a school, began a food program for widows, opened a medical clinic and pharmacy, and with the help of a local Christian foundation, built a $350,000 orphanage. Before My Father’s House Orphanage was even built, God brought the children, sometimes one at a time, and sometimes in bunches. One day a pastor from a mountain church arrived at the Mission with five children that had been left at his church. Pastor Ronald found a woman to care for them and the orphanage was started. Now there are 26 children who will move into their brand new home later this Fall.

I have returned to Haiti several times over the years to visit my friends there. Each time I am welcomed as family.


After living in a third world nation similar to Africa, I understand the fragile living conditions in Africa and what sheet metal means to the people. When people have to struggle to find food for just one meal a day, and when illness strikes and there are no doctors, and when depression and desperation overshadow each day, you soon understand the value of even a single piece of sheet metal.

To our African friends, sheet metal is a means of security against thieves and protection from the weather. It represents safety and status and shelter. Most of us see sheet metal as leftover debris from a home improvement project, rather than a home in itself. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.

When the pastor held up the sheet metal in church, I knew exactly what it was. The houses in Haiti are made of the same material. To know that that piece of metal came all the way from Africa and what that meant to the person it came from, I knew I had to do some thing special with it.

I wanted to use my gifts as a photographer to combine my photos of the children of Haiti with those bent and broken pieces of metal. To me, the metal represents the hearts of these children which are also bent and broken, suffering from the poverty and deprivation that the sheet metal represents.

Just as Lincoln was able to build a new house for the person who donated the metal, Jesus, too, can build new lives for the children of Africa. I want my work to capture the hearts of these children as it is melted onto the metal. I want the images to be transparent so we can see through their faces and feel the brokenness in their hearts.

Jesus said, “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones… I tell you the truly, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Working together, I hope we can give much more than just a cup of cold water.

Rob Hawthorne Photography

Artist: Josh Brownlow

Artist: Brent Starkebaum

Artist: Dante Daniel

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Africa Shapes From Shack Metal

This is a sample of the 8x10 framed Africa shapes we created to give to people who donate at the African Gala October 3rd, 2009.