By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Looking for light in the darkest of days, artists in Oak Park are teaming up to spark creativity in their community.

When life gets heavy, Taylor Pannell doesn’t just look for the helpers, she tries to become one.

“I feel the weight of the world right now,” Pannell said. “My best friend last night let me know he feels … traumatized.”

Between a pandemic and a national fight for racial justice, a number of things are on the minds of many everywhere. But in the Oak Park community, these artists hope they can create hope.

“If I can make some sort of hope or positive feelings,” Pannell said. “I would love to contribute that.”

The Oak Park Neighborhood Association and Art of the Day Sacramento collaborated to give people something to admire from a safe distance, while simultaneously amplifying community voices.

Oak Park residents Gerine Williams took part in the activity, ‘Imagine a New World,’ and provided her back fence as a blank canvas.

“Why just paint it white? I should look to put positive images in our community,” Williams said. “We have such a need for art in our low-income communities.”

Art of the Day Sacramento’s Desaree ‘Duckee’ Deckard said despite people’s differences, art is a universal language.

“When you see something you can take away the emotion from art,” Deckard said.

In a time when so many things are up in the air, artists like Pannell and Deckard continue to paint their message. One fence panel reading, “Love is the answer” — perhaps suggesting that the answer to life’s troubles may have been in plain sight all along.

‘Imagine a New World’ has several projects going until July 5 in the Oak Park community. More information about the collaborative art project can be found at Oak Park Neighborhood Association’s website and the Art of the Day Sacramento’s Instagram page.

Heather Janssen

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