Aspen and Snowmass: Fire Trucks and Rescue Vehicles to be Transformed into Fully Operational Works of Art as Part of Portraits of Hope Civic and Public Art Initiative

Children in Roaring Fork Valley, Denver, and Los Angeles join with Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, Snowmass Wildcat Fire District, Mountain Rescue Aspen, and Aspen Ambulance District in Portraits of Hope's latest public initiative.

(PRWEB) December 31, 2012

In its latest public initiative, Portraits of Hope is teaming with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District, Mountain Rescue Aspen, and Aspen Ambulance District to visually transform the actual front-line fire engines and fire vehicles, ambulances, mountain rescue road and all-terrain vehicles, and the facades of one or more station houses in Aspen-Snowmass – as part of a civic and public art creative therapy and education program involving children in hospitals, schools, and youth programs in the Roaring Fork Valley, Denver, and Los Angeles. This is the first time that fire and rescue fleet vehicles will be transformed into fully operational works of art anywhere in the country. The full-scale vehicle artwork will be painted in a floral motif for a 5-month exhibition beginning in June 2013, during the high summer season.

Founded by brothers Ed Massey and Bernie Massey, Portraits of Hope develops high-profile motivational art and civic projects aimed at enriching the lives of children and adults - many who may be coping with serious illness, disabilities, adversity, or socio-economic challenges - through their participation in creative, educational, high-profile, one-of-a-kind projects. To date, Portraits of Hope has involved tens of thousands of children and adults in huge civic collaborations - in the U.S. and abroad – that have visually transformed everything from airplanes, buildings, and the New York City taxi fleet to blimps, tugboats, race cars, and the Los Angeles beach lifeguard towers, by working with organizations from NASA to NASCAR .

All four partnering fire and rescue agencies enthusiastically embraced the project proposal and the opportunity to involve children from a variety of communities. Portraits of Hope anticipates that between 2 – 3,000 children will be involved in the project's program sessions in the coming months.

To meet the individual needs of children and adults with disabilities, Portraits of Hope has developed specialized painting brushes and techniques including telescope paint brushes for those in wheel chairs or connected to IVs, the shoe brush TM for individuals unable to manipulate a brush with their hands, and fruit-flavored mouth brushes for kids and adults with limited movement in their limbs. For persons visually impaired, Portraits of Hope utilizes special textured surfaces.

In schools, participants engage in interdisciplinary education sessions in which they assess, discuss, and communicate their thoughts on social issues affecting their communities and the world. The larger art collaboration – painting the panels for the fire and rescue trucks and vehicles – is a group effort to demonstrate tangibly the power of teamwork and civic engagement.

Traditionally, students who have participated in the program's sessions have routinely identified fire and rescue personnel as persons who they most admire in their communities. Additionally, the fact that so many children in hospitals have been saved and tended to by rescue personnel makes the fire and rescue services project theme especially appealing for Portraits of Hope.

Ed Massey and Bernie Massey will meet early this afternoon with the four agencies' leadership to review plans for the project and “size-up” several of the vehicles that will be involved in the project. As in other Portraits of Hope projects, this project will integrate the social service, private and government sectors.

All Portraits of Hope projects are privately funded and realized through the generous support and partnership of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Already stepping forward and joining the effort early on on the technical and production side of the project is Ohio-based MACtac, whose expertise and products have been instrumental in previous Portraits of Hope efforts.

To find out more about Portraits of Hope and the Fire and Rescue Project please contact Rob Brown or Stephen Ricci at 310-474-5141 or go to


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