By Kathy L. Collins

Artist and Valrico resident, Susan Jenkins recently completed a multi year art project. Jenkins created five beautiful works of art for A Kid’s Place in Brandon.

Jenkins was given free reign to create. The series is called Finding Jesus because all the paintings have the name of Jesus hidden in them along with other items. Each painting has a different theme of landscape- a seascape, a forest, a field, a lighthouse on the sea, and a marsh type of setting. The common elements in each are the adult and child, the name Jesus and a cross. There are other hidden items unique to each painting. For example, the forest painting also has hidden animals.

Jenkins said, “I knew that I wanted them to bring the children some joy at a very scary time in their little lives. I wanted them to be bright and fun.”

Mary Berg, Community Resource Coordinator for A Kid’s Place, said, “Susan has created something not only for the children to look at, but also something for them to talk about. Each piece of artwork also depicts an adult and child together, which is comforting during this time of upheaval for our kids. The paintings make each house feel more like a home.”

Each painting is done in acrylic and is 2′ by 3′. They are beautifully framed with lighting thanks to donations from the FishHawk Fellowship Church and One World One Child.

This project was a labor of love for Jenkins who was diagnosed with cancer. She had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. However, she finished her treatment and was able to complete the project.

“Even though it took two years to do this project, it was so blessed in so many ways. In a way, my own struggle helped me to relate to the fear these sweet children may face under such tragic circumstances. Completing the paintings was such a rewarding accomplishment for me in so many ways,” said Jenkins.

The artwork was presented at an event in May.

For more information on Jenkins, visit www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/1/susan-jenkins.html. For information on A Kid’s Place, visit.www.akidsplacetb.org.