A child paints a colorful circle during an art workshop with Limitless Park artist Christi Ziebarth at Joe’s Kids therapy center. Photo provided.
A child paints a colorful circle during an art workshop with Limitless Park artist Christi Ziebarth at Joe’s Kids therapy center. Photo provided.
WINONA LAKE – The new Winona Lake Limitless Park will offer outdoor recreation for people of all abilities including a universally accessible splash pad, playground and shaded rest areas, to be completed this fall.
As construction begins, a collaborative community artwork is underway involving hundreds of local children in the creative process.
Community events in support of the Limitless Park such as Wheels in Winona offered painting workshops where children created circle designs with blended colors on a potter’s wheel. Local artist Christi Ziebarth, in tandem with the Limitless Park planning committee, has been commissioned to create a 12-foot work of art honoring the names of corporate and individual donors who have contributed funding. Each child’s circle will be incorporated into the artistic design of the donor-honoring artwork, offering hundreds of community families a connection with the project.
Ziebarth’s proposal to involve children in the creation of the artwork stemmed from the mission of the park.
“This park is created for children. Why not create the artwork with children?” stated Ziebarth. “There is no better way to foster ownership and express gratitude than by doing it together. The language of creativity is as closely linked to a child’s development as is the language of play.”
Ziebarth also has accepted independent invitations to “take the show on the road.” Recently, children at Joe’s Kids therapy center created circle paintings in a morning art workshop. Joe’s Kids is a non-profit pediatric rehabilitation center providing physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to children with special needs in Kosciusko County. Their mission is to help each child reach their full potential and to educate and support their families along the way.
Rebecca Bazzoni, executive director of Joe’s Kids, said, “Our children had great fun creating these works of art and we are honored to be able to participate in this project. We at Joe’s Kids are extremely excited about the Limitless Park. No longer will our children in wheelchairs or walkers have to sit on the sidelines. This playground will be accessible to all and have something for every child to enjoy – the way it should be.”
The artwork is scheduled to be completed and displayed at the fall opening of the Limitless Park representing a goal of 1,000 contributions of children’s art from all ages and ability levels within our community.
“In the meantime,” said Ziebarth, “… the community is reaching into this project beyond my imagination. The best moment came when I was able to witness a 9-month-old baby on his grandfather’s lap painting a circle together. I realized then that this project touches on transcendence.”
To learn more about the Winona Lake Limitless Park, visit winonalake.net/limitlesspark
To learn more about Joe’s Kids, visit www.joes-kids.org