February 24, 2021

Student organization spreads kindness, optimism on campus and across the globe via art exchange

Artwork by Ashley John as part of Pauseitivity's Global Art Exchange.
Artwork by Mashiath Chowdhury

At a time when many feel isolated, Wayne State student organization Pauseitivity seeks to spread kindness and share a message of hope. Founded in February 2020 with the motto “pause for a minute in your day to share a small act of kindness,” the group has partnered with the international nonprofit The Memory Project to promote global connectivity and kindness through an art exchange.

Artwork by Shanmin Sultana

The Memory Project provides a way for student artists in America to share handmade drawings with children in developing countries, who are often refugees or orphans without childhood keepsakes. In exchange, student artists receive a video compilation of some of the deliveries and the children’s reactions. Through The Memory Project’s network, Pauseitivity shared art with children in Nigeria last fall and will do so again this semester.

Artwork by Alison Hurley

“At a time when so many people in the world feel isolated and distanced, the Global Art Exchange reminds us that we are more alike than different, and that a small act of positivity can speak volumes about our shared hopes and dreams,” said Shanmin Sultana, a senior majoring in sociology who serves as Pauseitivity’s co-founder and president.

Artwork by Apala Vaishnav

All students are welcome to get involved with Pauseitivity and participate in the Global Art Exchange, no matter their artistic abilities. Participants choose a child’s drawing to respond to, inspired by their hopes, hobbies and dreams. Each piece of art is completed by hand on standard-size paper, and includes the artist’s name and a tracing of their hand for a personal touch.

Artwork by Aniqa Akther

“It’s not about the artistic talent so much as its about connecting and positivity,” said Ashley John, Pauseitivity co-founder and a third-year student majoring in computer science. “Kindness has no physical bounds. Art can be a cathartic, creative outlet for many, and sharing an artistic expression has the ability to transcend so many barriers.”

Artwork by Julia Andre

Pauesitivity also hosts a wide range of free and fun activities and other projects for students to spread positivity on campus. Artwork created by WSU students can be found on the group’s Instagram page, @pauseitivity.

To learn more, or to participate in the Global Art Exchange, contact Pauseitivity at pauseitivity@wayne.edu. Submissions for the winter 2021 Global Art Exchange are due May 15.

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