works of ‘heart’ benefit St. Jude Target House

May 30, 2013 - Article reads in
Four paintings that are being auctioned for this year's

The phrase “art inspires life” just took on a whole new meaning.

Each year, Target’s inHouse creative team partners with a new group of talented artists to create a series of limited-edition 11x14” prints, sold at while supplies last. The proceeds go to buy new art supplies to stock the Scott Hamilton Art Room for the kids at St. Jude Target House, Target’s home-away-from home for children and their families to stay while receiving live-saving treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Center in Memphis.

The 2013 Heartwork series launched May 28 with 10 new print designs, all inspired by this year’s theme: Hope. Featured artists include Kevin Tong, Aaron Draplin, Always with Honor (Tyler and Elsa Lang), Don Shank, Heads of State (Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers), JOLBY (Colby Nichols and Josh Kenyon), Julie West, Mike Perry, Tad Carpenter and Don Clark. Each piece created for the series is printed by design company Invisible Creature, then signed and numbered by the artists before shipping out to its new home, along with a commemorative Heartwork elephant patch. A set of the prints also hang at St. Jude and Target House. “Heartwork is a wonderful way for artists to share their talents and help inspire the young artists at Target House,” says Ted Halbur, inHouse creative manager, Marketing.

So what inspired this year’s artists to create their unique pieces in the series?

A few honed in on images a kid couldn’t help but love. “I kept the children at Target House in mind the whole time,” says Tong, who created “My Robot Friend.” “The image is framed by dark and mysterious mountains, but opens up into a beautiful and bright landscape. The boy and the robot are still in the dark, but they're almost out. What I wanted to communicate to those kids is that they're not alone and there's hope to come out of the darkness together, into a bright and shining future.”

Others were inspired by amazing sights and unforgettable experiences. "I was in Australia earlier this year, and it felt like I was exploring brand-new worlds with sights I’d never seen before,” says Nichols, one half of team JOLBY and co-creator of “Wild.” “That idea translated to the child in our piece opening up a door to a world filled with friendly creatures and wild plant life. This world is the boy's escape into an exciting place, far from his worries or concerns." Adds partner Kenyon, “We wanted to make the piece as colorful and dense with life to help drive the exploration of hope."

And sometimes, it was all about turning good vibes into positive energy. Draplin, for example, went for “goopy, colorful '60s-'70s psychedelia” in “Thick-Lined Valley of Love.” “It’s about how a certain set of colors or lines, even simple and unrefined, can evoke a positive feeling. Remember that awesome picnic tablecloth your mom had as kid? That kind of vibe.”

But above all, the experience of working with the families was what left a lasting impression. “Visiting Target House, meeting the kids and their families and seeing how inspiring Target House and St. Jude Hospital actually were all the inspiration I needed,” says Carpenter, who created “Flower Friends.” “I got to sit and draw with some of the kids at the hospital and inevitably each patient wanted to draw elephants together. That was enough for me to know what had to be included in my piece.”

Visit to see all 10 of the designs, and visit Healthy Communities to learn more about our partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Center.

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