07 May An Atmosphere of Art
A love of art and regard for its creation has been paramount to the way we connect with one another at Park Springs. That’s why we are so proud to introduce Yvette Hawkins, Cobblestone’s new Creative Arts Coordinator.
Yvette joins our team with a lifetime of experience creating incredible art and inspiring others to do the same. Now that she is a part of Park Springs’ legacy, we’d like to share a bit more about the journey that led her here.
At the tender age of five, Yvette’s life changed forever. As she waited for her mother to pick her up from school, the cover of a book caught her eye. The picture was a drawing of a bear. Simple as it was, it was an image that would spark her imagination and untether her creative potential. Inspired by the book cover, Yvette sketched her own version of the bear and wrote a story to accompany it. Her mother loved the drawing so much she began encouraging Yvette’s artistic passion through school programs and extracurricular activities.
The only girl of four children, Yvette’s creativity truly began to blossom with the help of her siblings and neighborhood friends. She loved sharing her artistic endeavors with others and always found a way to bring people together. Working with other children in the neighborhood, Yvette helped to produce plays for the local community. She even participated in rehearsals and made her own props. In elementary school, Yvette started a small business where she commissioned renderings of zodiac signs. Her drawings were so beloved by classmates, she hired her brothers to help color in the artwork so she could fulfill the influx of requests. The comradery she shared with her friends and family became a common thread throughout her life, inspiring a desire to create with and for others.
As a young adult, Yvette was rarely ever seen without a theatrical prop or portfolio of art projects in hand. Starting in her school’s beginner art program, she steadily advanced to the highest level and developed a reputation among classmates as an avid artist. Her passion for creating art led her peers to eventually honor her with the superlative of Class Artist. After high school, Yvette refined her skills at Jacksonville University where she attained a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatrical Design and Visual Arts. She also took her talents abroad while studying Art and Art History in southeastern Europe.
With a passion for creativity, self-taught experience, formal education, and a love for bettering her community, Yvette made a commitment to express herself while helping others do the same. Though she worked in the corporate world and held other jobs throughout the years, she knew in her heart that “art was always there.”
To nurture her creative side while working in non-creative environments, she
began volunteering as an artist for Hospice of Atlanta. She created portraits and artistic pieces that illustrated the patients’ cherished memories or celebrated their rich life stories. Her work with older adults there served as a perfect foundation for her transition into freelancing with government counties and eventually an opportunity with Isakson Living. After three years serving in various roles with Isakson’s Buckhead community, Yvette submitted her art proposal to Park Springs founder, Andy Isakson.
Anyone who knows Andy can tell you about his passion for art. Throughout Pebblebrook and Cobblestone, you’ll find artwork that is powerful, beautiful, and even a bit peculiar adorning the walls of the dynamic communities our Members call home. With a shared love of art and a strong professional history between them, Andy and Yvette worked together to bring an atmosphere of art to the continuing care community at Park Springs.
As the Creative Arts Coordinator for Cobblestone, Yvette’s first goal was to develop a program for Club Level, River House, and Farm House Members that correlated with each person’s unique abilities. Having worked with students of all ages before, she understood the importance of creating projects that matched each student’s skill level. By breaking down each piece into basic concepts like theme, shape, and color, Yvette sought to engage every Member in her class. Her first event at Park Springs was a spirited Spring Fling paint party that took Members on a journey through time with classic tunes from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Members gathered with friends and Care Partners to dance, dine, and recreate a painting of a beautiful sunflower.
A business owner, mentor, and award-winning artist, Yvette’s keen ability to form intergenerational bonds has allowed her to nurture the creativity of people of all ages and backgrounds. As she leads Park Springs’ creative initiative using a variety of artistic mediums, educational strategies, and creative tools, we hope her programs will continue to connect Members to their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social centers and empower their personal expression in new and exciting ways.